After stunning, the carcasses are shackled and hoisted. The carcasses, suspended by their hind legs from overhead

Figure 14. Electrode and head restraint for electrical stunning of cattle.

conveyors, pass along a number of platforms and units where the carcasses are dehided by means of hand tools and machines. On the first two platforms, both rear legs are dehided using knives and handheld dehiding tools. In this legging process, the hocks are removed by manually operated hock removers.

This preliminary dehiding is carried out in preparation for entry into the downward hide pulling machine. The de-hiding machine consists of two operator platforms on either side of a powered rotating drum. The platforms and drum form an integrated assembly that moves up and down. Part of the hide that was removed during preliminary dehiding is fixed to the drum. As the platform-drum assembly is lowered, the hide is pulled off and rolled onto the drum. The two operators standing on each side of the carcass can assist the hide removal with handheld dehiding tools.

After complete removal of the hide, the drum is reversed and the pelt drops into a chute behind the machine. About 80 cattle per hour can be dehided with this system. After dehiding, the animal is eviscerated and all of the components of the viscera plus the carcass are inspected.

One machine development that has taken place in beef processing over the last 10 years has been automatic carcass splitting. This machine was developed in Europe and machines have been installed in the United States and Australia. The machine consists of a large circular saw that is controlled by a guiding system. The saw plus the guiding system is sterilized with hot water between each carcass. A large development program for automated beef dressing is nearing completion at the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) Meat Research Laboratory in Queensland, Australia. This technology could have a significant impact on beef dressing in the future.

G. R. Longdill

Meat Industry Research Institute of New Zealand

Hamilton, New Zealand

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