Pre-slaughter stress affects cortisol and adrenocorticotropic hormone levels in the blood of animals

  • Stepan Grabovskyi
  • Oleksandra Grabovska
  • Viktoriia Havryliak
  • Liliia Kalachniuk
  • Alla Velyka
Keywords: pre-slaughter stress, stress hormones, rats, calves, boars


An increase in the cortisol and adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) concentration in blood is observed in various diseases, and especially under stress conditions, which explains why they are referred to as stress hormones. The paper presents the results of measuring the cortisol level in the blood of laboratory animals (rats), of the ACTH level in the blood of bulls, and the cortisol and ACTH level in the blood of the boars under the pre-slaughter stress of these animals. Depending on the priority of animal removal from the cage, the cortisol level increased by nearly 1.5 times (Р < 0.01) in rats and by nearly five times (Р < 0.05) in animals that were removed from each cage last. The ACTH concentration in the blood plasma of bulls before setting a study (preparatory period) was 1.3 times lower (P ≤ 0.01) compared with its content in the blood plasma of the bulls immediately before their transportation to a slaughterhouse. The changes in the cortisol and ACTH content in the blood plasma of the boars were similar. The results of our studies could be of interest in correcting hormonal adaptation to negative consequences of stress effect during the pre-slaughter period in animals used for industrial production of meat.