This sub-page focuses on priority area 3. Assessment of the state of consciousness after stunning for broilers and turkeys.


The set of welfare indicators documents below identifies the legal requirements of the legislation and addresses their corresponding specific indicators for each requirement, classified as animal-based, resource-based and management-based indicators. The indicators have been retrieved from literature review and expert knowledge. Furthermore, the legal requirements without specific corresponding indicators have been identified. The indicators and methods of assessment were evaluated according to their validity, feasibility, and reliability in order to deliver useful information for official controls. The possible gaps of knowledge and ‘open norms ‘ were identified and discussed.



This study is aimed at investigating the pertinence of different animal-based indicators (ABIs) for the assessment of broiler’s state of consciousness after waterbath stunning (WBS) before and during bleeding. A scientific paper was published based on this experimental study: Contreras-Jodar. et al. 2022. Inter-Observer Repeatability of Indicators of Consciousness after Waterbath Stunning in Broiler Chickens.


The technical study aimed at evaluating the prevalence and the inter-observer repeatability of the most valid and feasible animal-based indicators of the state of consciousness after waterbath stunning in turkeys before bleeding (tonic seizure, breathing, spontaneous blinking, and vocalisation) and during bleeding (wing flapping, breathing, spontaneous swallowing, and head shaking). In addition, correlations among them were computed to better understand their relationship and offer better insight on reliability of indicators. This was aimed at proposing a refined list of indicators that can be used in commercial slaughterhouses ensuring consistency of assessments. Moreover, the effectiveness of stunning according to different combinations of waterbath electrical key parameters (frequency and current) used in different commercial slaughterhouses was assessed in order to provide general recommendations.


This area will be updated regularly with reviews, reports or articles (from EURCAW-Poultry-SFA). The number of available items will increase over time.