Policy: Electroimmobilisation

Policy type: Policy
Reference: 3e
Status: Current
Date ratified: 9 February 2011

The New Zealand Veterinary Association (NZVA) opposes the use of electroimmobilisation equipment because controlled scientific studies have shown it may cause aversive behaviour and unnecessary pain and distress and because no significant analgesic effect has been demonstrated.


The effectiveness in achieving immobilisation has been demonstrated. The behavioural effects on the animal are hard to judge as this is inevitably modified to a degree by the electroimmobilisation itself.

The question remains unanswered as to whether the animal is humanely immobilised and anaesthetised, or whether it can still feel pain but not respond. In fact could the act of electroimmobilisation itself be considered cruel?

Significantly, the procedure has been demonstrated to be aversive,.and anaesthetic properties have not been established.

Further Comments

The use of electroimmobilisation is illegal in Great Britain and Europe.

Further Reading

Matthews LR. Welfare implications of electroimmobilisation.Surveillance 20, Number 2, Page 10, 1993.

Pascoe PJ, McDonell WN. The noxious effects of electroimmobilization in adult Holstein cows: a pilot study. Canadian Journal of Veterinary Research, 50(2): 275-9, 1986