MPS Butina Backloader CO² gas stunners installed in the Maple Leaf flagship

MPS Butina recently installed and started-up successfully at the Maple Leaf pork plant in Brandon, Manitoba a set of Butina Backloader CO² stunners for stunning of groups of up to 7 hogs per cycle, according to US and AMI animal welfare standards which requires a 6.6 sq. ft. spacing per hog inside the gondolas.

According to the study and investigation by 3rd parties on behalf of Maple Leaf Foods corporate on the group stunning of Canadian hogs it was decided that MPS Butina will be their preferred supplier for the new stunning system inside their flagship plant in Brandon, Manitoba. Since then we performed, together with the Maple Leaf Foods corporate engineering team, various solutions for the implementation of the stunners, allowing them a continuous and ongoing production without any interruption when transferring from the “old” to the “new” stunning location together with the optimal solution for the livestock handling without noise shaping or stress creation.

The Butina Backloader CO² stunners in the Brandon facility of Maple Leaf Foods are able to run at a capacity of 840 hogs per hour each of them and can load up to 7 hogs of a maximum of 300 lbs. inside the gondola per cycle. We have installed the double Butina Backloader XXL7 model with extra attention at animal welfare on gondola sizing and surfaces according to the latest CFIA-, USDA- and AMI livestock handling requirements. When installation was completed we noticed a significant decline of stress in the life animal when handling in the area between barns and stunner, resulting in a remarkable meat quality improvement by color change and reduced PSE. With the install of the Butina stunners we noticed also a significant better performance of sticking and shackling of animals.


Maple Leaf Foods is the largest pork meat processing company in Canada and operates 3 plants in Canada on fresh pork.