This sub-page focuses on priority area 3. Stunning and killing for rabbits. 

The stunning method before killing and how to control its efficiency play an important role from an animal welfare point of view. Thus, the main methods used to stun and kill rabbits for human consumption and their main welfare aspects were reviewed along with the key parameters for an effective stunning. In addition, animal-based indicators of the state of consciousness for rabbits were gathered from the literature. This served as a starting point to develop a scientific study in commercial slaughterhouses of rabbits, stunned with electrical devices, to assess the state of consciousness after stunning and to identify the most relevant animal-based indicators of consciousness.

Scientific study

In 2023 the EURCAW-Poultry-SFA launched a scientific study in commercial slaughterhouses of rabbits stunned with electrical devices.

The general objective is to identify a refined list of indicators that can be used to assess the state of consciousness of head-only electrical stunned rabbits in commercial slaughterhouses to ensure consistency of controls. 

The specific objectives are:

  1. - Assess the inter-observer repeatability of the most valid and feasible indicators of consciousness according to the EFSA.
  2. - Elucidate the correlation among the indicators
  3. - Assess the efficiency of stunning.

The working group composed of 4 EURCAW-Poultry-QFA consortium members will visit 15-18 different slaughterhouses (during 2023-2024) from the three main rabbit producer countries in the EU. 


This area will be updated regularly with review documents and thematic factsheets summarizing the latest scientific and practical knowledge concerning the four prioritized welfare areas. The number of available items will increase over time.

Last updated on 11.07.2024.