CANADA - The Veterinary Council with the Canadian Pork Council says, despite public concerns, the use of blunt force trauma to euthanize pigs is an effective and humane method of ensuring animal welfare.
If pigs are not responding to treatment, if they have untreatable conditions or if they are too small to survive they need to be euthanized in a humane and timely manner.
Dr Egan Brockhoff, the Veterinary Counsel with the Canadian Pork Council, says there is a couple of options for euthanizing baby pigs less than nine kilograms, the most common being blunt force trauma.
Dr Egan Brockhoff-Canadian Pork Council:
No question the general public takes a look at the video that shows blunt force trauma and they have questions.
Blunt force trauma is exactly what it's described as.
It's a blunt force to the head of the baby pig and it doesn't look great. Unfortunately there's a misperception about that.
It's a highly effective and very safe way to euthanize baby pigs and it's in the best interest of the pig's welfare that that is carried out.
Again unfortunately it doesn't look good but I like t think of the pig's welfare first and the fact that this is a very safe and effective way to euthanize pigs is the key thing.
We are now implementing new ways of applying blunt force trauma. We used to use more human methods.
Now we're using non penetrating captive bolt guns to apply the blunt force trauma to the piglets and that's very safe and very effective and it doesn't look as difficult for the public to accept.
Dr Brockhoff says it's important for the public to understand how and why animals are euthanized.
He says animal welfare is very important to producers and the public needs to recognize euthanasia is a necessary and humane option to ensure animals do not needlessly suffer.
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