Penetrative Captive-bolt

In cattle, the brain is situated high in the head. The ideal stunning position is in the middle of the forehead – at the crossing point of two imaginary lines drawn between the eyes and the centre of the base of the opposite horns (Figure 6). This should give a position about 70mm, ±10mm, above a line drawn across the forehead at the back of the eyes. The muzzle of the stunner should be held at a right angle to the skull, so that the bolt is directed through the upper brain towards the brainstem (Figure 7).


Figure 6: Stunning position - Penetrative

Figure 7: Cross-section


Non-penetrative Captive-bolt

A non-penetrative stunner should be positioned approximately 20mm above the position used for the penetrative captive-bolt (Figure 8), and the animal must be bled within 30 seconds. The use of non-penetrative concussion stunners is not permitted for ruminants more than 10kg liveweight in the EU (Figure 9).

cattle non-pen fig9

Figure 8: Stunning position - Non-penetrative

Figure 9: Cross-section


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