How to ensure welfare during euthanasia

With African swine fever nearing Australia’s shores and COVID-19 affecting pork processing overseas, there has perhaps never been a more anxious time for Australian pig producers.
calendar icon 10 September 2020
clock icon 4 minute read

Research is needed to develop more humane euthanasia methods. Until then, current methods to consider in the event of mass euthanasia should include:

  • Injectable barbiturates – for unweaned piglets or piglets <5kgs
  • Carbon dioxide gas – for unweaned piglets or piglets <5kgs
  • Non-penetrating firearms – non-penetrating captive bolt guns for piglets <5kgs
  • Penetrating firearms – captive bolt gun or firearm for pigs >5kgs
  • As best practice, pithing (destroying the brain stem) or exsanguination (bleeding out) should be done where possible, following the first method of euthanasia. This should be done especially in adult pigs, and only when the animal is unconscious, to ensure the animal has been effectively killed.

Ventilation shutdown is not an acceptable euthanasia method, and therefore should not be included in producer’s contingency planning.

For more information on mass euthanasia and other science-based articles visit the RSPCA Knowledgebase.

© 2000 - 2024 - Global Ag Media. All Rights Reserved | No part of this site may be reproduced without permission.