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Dorothy Sidley Memorial Scholarship awarded

18 April 2016

The Humane Slaughter Association (HSA) has announced the awarding of a Dorothy Sidley Memorial Scholarship to Alexandra Bearman who is currently studying for her BVetMed degree at the Royal Veterinary College (RVC).

Alexandra’s two-month research project will assess the performance and maintenance of captive-bolt guns in UK cattle abattoirs, an aspect of animal welfare that does not attract much research.  Captive bolt guns are widely used for the stunning of cattle prior to slaughter and studies have shown that captive bolt stunning is effective when used correctly with well-maintained guns.  However, there appears to be little research into whether those that are used regularly are maintained to the recommended guidelines and whether they are actually working to their correct potential.

The Dorothy Sidley Memorial Scholarship was launched 30 years ago this year in memory of Miss Sidley, who was the General Secretary of the charity for 48 years (Link to Dorothy Sidley history page).  The award is designed to enable students or trainees in the industry to carry out a project which is clearly aimed at improving the welfare of food animals in markets, during transport or at slaughter. 

Alexandra’s project may provide useful information on the performance of captive bolt guns currently used for the stunning of cattle in UK abattoirs, with the results having direct relevance to abattoirs, industry bodies and the HSA.

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