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Final study Anoxia method

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This month, a long awaited report has been published in Poultry science in the edition of May 2013.The team concluded that the trials conducted during this study provide proof-of-principle that submersion in gas-filled, high expansion foam is a rapid and highly effective method of euthanasia, which may have potential to provide humane emergency killing or routine depopulation action of high expansion, gas-filled foam is anoxia.

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Final study Anoxia method

  1. 1. Physiological and behavioral responses of poultry exposed to gas-filled highexpansion foamN2GF.com Page 1 5/2/2013This month, a long awaited report has beenpublished in Poultry science in the edition of May2013.The team concluded that the trials conductedduring this study provide proof-of-principle thatsubmersion in gas-filled, high expansion foam is arapid and highly effective method of euthanasia,which may have potential to provide humaneemergency killing or routine depopulation actionof high expansion, gas-filled foam is anoxia.Abstract:Disease control measures require poultry to be killed on farms to minimize the riskof disease being transmitted to other poultry and, in some cases, to protect publichealth. We assessed the welfare implications for poultry of the use of high-expansion gas-filled foam as a potentially humane, emergency killing method.In laboratory trials, broiler chickens, adult laying hens, ducks, and turkeys wereexposed to air-, N2-, or CO2-filled high expansion foam (expansion ratio 300:1) understandardized conditions. Birds were equipped with sensors to measure cardiac andbrain activity, and measurements of oxygen concentration in the foam were carriedout. Initial behavioral responses to foam were not pronounced but includedheadshakes and brief bouts of wing flapping.Both N2- and CO2-filled foam rapidly induced ataxia/loss of posture and vigorouswing flapping in all species, characteristic of anoxic death. Immersion in air-filled,high expansion foam had little effect on physiology or behavior. Physiologicalresponses to both N2- and CO2-filled foam were characterized by a pronouncedbradyarrythymia and a series of consistent changes in the appearance of theelectroencephalogram. These were used to determine an unequivocal time to loss ofconsciousness in relation to submersion.Mean time to loss of consciousness was 30 s in hens and 18 s in broilers exposed toN2-filled foam, and 16 s in broilers, 1 s in ducks, and 15 s in turkeys exposed to CO2-filled foam. Euthanasia achieved with anoxic foam was particularly rapid, which isexplained by the very low oxygen concentrations (below 1%) inside the foam.Physiological observations and postmortem examination showed that the mode ofaction of high expansion, gas-filled foam is anoxia, not occlusion of the airway.These trials provide proof-of-principle that submersion in gas-filled, high expansionfoam provides a rapid and highly effective method of euthanasia, which may havepotential to provide humane emergency killing or routine depopulationaction of highexpansion, gas-filled foam is anoxia, not occlusion of the airway.
  2. 2. Physiological and behavioral responses of poultry exposed to gas-filled highexpansion foamN2GF.com Page 2 5/2/2013Authors:D E F McKeegan, H G M Reimert, V A Hindle, P Boulcott, J M Sparrey, C M Wathes, TG M Demmers, M A GerritzenPublication:PoultyScience, 92(5):1145-54 (2013), PMID 23571322

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