SPCA New Zealand
Advice & welfare

Electroimmobolisation

Farmed Animals

SPCA opposes the use of electroimmobilisation.

Electroimmobilisation is a technique using low-voltage electricity to temporarily paralyse animals, usually cattle. This method is used on a minority of New Zealand farms to restrain animals so that husbandry procedures can be carried out. Electroimmobilisation devices are aversive to animals. They leave the animal conscious but do not provide any analgesic (painkilling) effect, preventing them from appropriately responding to pain and distress.

SPCA considers that the use of electroimmobilisation is unjustifiable and prone to abuse – for example, by reducing the motivation for farmers to provide pain relief during painful procedures. SPCA opposes the use of electroimmobilisation devices in animals and advocates for the use of restraining methods that are humane.

All animal handlers should be experienced and competent in low-stress, force-free handling, and appropriate restraint techniques and should understand the behaviours and needs of the animals in their care to remove the need to use such devices.

(See ‘Handling of Farmed Animals’ for more information)

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