Electric shock control of farmed animals: Welfare review and ethical critique

D. Grumett*, A. Butterworth

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

The available methods of electric shock control or containment of farmed animals are increasing and potentially include: (i) fixed and movable electric fencing; (ii) cattle trainers; (iii) prods or goads; (iv) wires in poultry barns; (v) dairy collecting yard backing gates; (vi) automated milking systems (milking robots); and (vii) collars linked to virtual fencing and containment systems. Since any electric shock is likely to cause a farmed animal pain, any such control or containment must, to be ethically justifiable, bring clear welfare benefits that cannot be practicably delivered in other ways. Associated areas of welfare concern with ethical implications include the displacement of stockpersons by technology, poor facility design, stray voltage, coercive behavioural change and indirect impacts on human society and values.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)373-385
JournalAnimal Welfare Journal
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2022

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • animal welfare
  • automated milking system
  • collar
  • electric fencing
  • electric shock
  • ethics


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