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.


The Pig Site

10 September 2020


With all the uncertainty though, there is one thing that’s known, producers must have plans in place for what to do in events where there is a heightened risk to pig welfare. This includes being prepared for the mass euthanasia of large numbers of pigs.


Mass euthanasia may be required in several circumstances such as: stopping the spread of disease that can cause significant illness or death; processing or transport restrictions that could lead to on-farm overcrowding or feed shortages; or natural disasters. Should such an event occur, being well prepared and ensuring animal welfare is a priority throughout the process is critical to the humane treatment of animals and maintaining community confidence.


What should Australian pig producers do to prepare?


RSPCA Australia defines humane killing as when an animal is either killed instantly or rendered insensible until death ensues, without pain, suffering or distress.


Plans developed by producers for mass euthanasia preparedness must consider these three critical points:


1.    animal handling and restraint prior to killing;

2.    stunning and killing method;

3.    confirmation of death.


Determining the right euthanasia method ...


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