Applying nitrogen gas foamFor the killing of animals according to EU regulation EU 1099/2009 For more information: www.n2gf.com
What is laid down in new EU regulation EU 1099/2009?• Strict rules from 01/01/2013 for killing animals during slaughter, emergency or unnecessary suffering• End to ambiguities in old legislation• Description of which methods are allowed, and the skills and demands on the operator• that animals shall be spared any avoidable pain, distress or suffering during their killing and related operations
Permitted methods• mechanical methods – Shooting Mask – Blow on the head (concussion) or breaking the neck (cervical neck dislocation). These methods are not allowed as routine methods and only to be used in exceptional situations• electrical methods – Head-only electrical stunning – Head-to-body electrical stunning – Electrical waterbath• Gas methods – Carbon dioxide (high concentration, two phases, Carbon monoxide (pure source or mixed), inert gasses (e.g. Nitrogen, Argon)• Deadly injection (T61) – Only to be applied by veterinarian. Expensive method for killing animals, with high risks of additional suffering for the animals.
Why nitrogen gas foam?• Since 2003 need for better killing method to prevent the spreading of diseases and to avoid unnecessary animal suffering• Method must be able to be used universally, both large and small scale• Low investment and operating costs make market-wide rollout possible• Nitrogen gas foam meets the above requirements• Can be used in containers and tunnels in which animals are immersed and also allows foaming a full stable in phases• Is also easily applied by qualified operators, after a course of 1-2 days.
What is nitrogen gas foam?• Nitrogen gas foam contains > 95% nitrogen, animals numb almost immediately and die quickly completely unaware of the process• Nitrogen is lighter than oxygen and therefore rises• By packaging nitrogen in foam bubbles and by ensuring that the animals are completely covered by a layer of foam, the nitrogen remains in place and the animal breathes in > 95% nitrogen.
Animals and nitrogen gas foam?• Nitrogen is odorless and tasteless and the largest component of atmospheric air• As soon as the head of the animal submerges under the foam it is exposed to a mixture of > 95% nitrogen and <5% oxygen• The nitrogen takes the place of oxygen in the blood, and very quickly renders the animal unconscious• Exposure to the nitrogen in the foam after a short period of time produces heart failure and mortality.
Nitrogen versus other types of gas• Stunning and killing by gas is widespread, usually carbon dioxide or argon.• Advantages of nitrogen: – No acid gas, the animal is already unconscious, without noticing the lack of oxygen. For example, when carbon dioxide is used, the animal tries to holdsits breathe, which increases the suffering of the animal – Research shows that when nitrogen gas foam is used, physical symptoms such as loss of balance, convulsions and wing fold (in poultry) happen after the animal is unconscious – Nitrogen is easily available: in bottles or by compressing atmospheric air which contains 78% nitrogen – In a well-ventilated environment nitrogen is not harmful or dangerous for humans.
Nitrogen gas foam and EU 1099/2009• Nitrogen gas foam meets EU 1099/2009, since nitrogen is an inert gas, so the animals die from acute oxygen deficiency. Dr.Ing. Marine Gerritzen el al (WUR) described in 399 report dated October 2010 the nitrogen gas foam method and the function of nitrogen as inert gas (ISSN 1570-8616). His findings show that nitrogen foam is an acceptable method of killing based on physiological and behavioral observations (behavioral parameters, heart rate measurement and pathological research, etc.).
Description equipment for smallapplications of nitrogen gas foam The standard equipment is attached to the wall and consists of: 1.A nitrogen gas cylinder, including hoses and a regulator 2.A pressure vessel for water and soap mix, including water hoses 3.A foam nozzle in which nitrogen and the water/soap solution are mixed 4.Measuring and control equipment to monitor the gas concentration and temperature 5.A standard barrel or container that is filled with the nitrogen gas foam.
Components Foam nozzleWater and foaming agentNitrogen High expansion foam
Benefits for farmers• The nitrogen gas foam method is easy to integrate into procedures on the farm, and, given the absence of unnecessary pain and suffering, is the most humane killing method available• Both the initial investment and operating costs are very low• Staff do not need to proceed to additional handling to stun and kill animals according to the EU regulations• The direct involvement of the operator performing the killing of the animals and the effect on him are minimized: low risk of error or failure - minor psychological stress - low physical load• The method is safe. The operator need only ensure that his nose and mouth are not in direct contact with the gas foam.
Appendix• Special features• Simple description of the Standard Operating Procedure• Confusion about the use of high expansion nitrogen foam• Differences in foam
Special features• Simplicity: control, cleaning and disinfection• Cost effective: Low initial investment. Operational costs are very low: only water, soap and nitrogen• Stability of the foam: upper layer of foam (at least 40 cm) ensures that the concentration of nitrogen that is located beneath the foam layer remains high, in spite of the convulsions of the animal. The nitrogen can not escape. Even during the time that the animal falls through the upper foam layer, the concentration of nitrogen remains intact• Safety: nitrogen is an atmospheric gas - non toxic - safe to transport - the soap has no adverse effects on humans and the environment• Animal welfare: animal dies within 1.5 to 2 minutes as a consequence of the absence of oxygen
Simplified description of the standard procedure to kill animals with nitrogen gas foamThe operator starts the procedure to produce the nitrogen foam:•controls water and soap in the pressure vessel - checks gas reserves in thenitrogen bottle - starts the foam production - places the cadaver barrel belowthe foam nozzle - controls temperature and nitrogen concentration in thefoam•makes his rounds through the stables and selects weak and sick animals•removes these animals from the stable and transports them to the cadaverbarrel•allows the animals one by one carefully through the top layer of the nitrogenfoam into the barrel at intervals of 2 minutes•After all sick and weak animals are killed, the the cadaver barrel is closed.The nitrogen foam dissolves completely in the course of time and theconcentration of nitrogen in the barrel easily disappears into theatmosphere.
Why is there confusion about the use of nitrogen gas foaming method?• The Nitrogen gas-foaming method is often (wrongly) confused with the firefighting-foam method• Some years ago a method was developed in the USA for firefighting-foam with a low expansion - high density foam type, applying small foam bubbles• This firefighting-foam method is also presented in Europe as a possible application for killing animals• Particularly from animal welfare organizations, there are many objections to the firefighting-foam method• The structure and composition of the air-filled foam is such that the animals are suffocated by a blockage of the airways• Mechanical suffocation, according to the new regulation is not an accepted method for killing animals and is therefore not allowed within the EU• The nitrogen foam method is based on a different principle, the animals do not die by blockage of the airways but by overall displacement of the oxygen in the blood
Differences in foamHigh expansion nitrogen foam Low expansion - high dencity firefighting foam