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Managing large-scale outbreaks at Farrow-to-Weaner Farms
Recent human pandemics have highlighted the threat that swine influenza poses to both animal
and public health through zoonotic transmission.
Although stunning pigs using carbon dioxide gas is a common method in commercial slaughter,
its limited availability during crises and the distress it causes to pigs, leading to significant
discomfort before unconsciousness, are concerning. Conversely, stunning with nitrogen gas is
less distressing, prompting the development of three distinct techniques based on applying high
expansion foam in enclosed containers.
Implementing these on-farm systems at farrow-to-weaner farms during large-scale outbreaks of
contagious pig diseases allows for differentiation among various approaches for managing
piglets based on weight, age, size, and quantity, categorized by their production stages. Each
approach is tailored with specific objectives and management techniques.
Collaborating with partners in Europe, the USA, and Canada, the established high expansion
foam technology is now globally launched with specialized applications, produced by HEFT AB,
the successful Swedish developer of science-based nitrogen foam technology.
Harm Kiezebrink MBA
Senior Subject Matter Expert
Harm.kie@gmail.com
Dedicated procedures for Subdivided categories
During large-scale outbreaks of swine-Influenza A Virus (swIAV), prompting the exploration of
diverse strategies suitable for managing emergencies in field conditions.
By subdividing, a tailored approach can be adopted to improve operational efficiency and
effectiveness while minimizing the impact on individual farms. This strategy optimizes emergency
deployment capacity and simplifies standard procedures. Furthermore, utilizing the existing
capacity of the farming helps alleviate scrutiny on animal welfare standards, offering a significant
advantage.
Farrow-to-Weaner Farms
To distinguish among various approaches for managing piglets of particular weight, age, size,
and quantity, pig farms are classified based on their production stages, each tailored with specific
objectives and management techniques. At Farrow-to-Weaner pig farms, you will find pigs in the
following categories:
 Sows weighing up to 320 kg: They undergo farrowing, giving birth to piglets and nursing
them until weaning, usually at 3-4 weeks old and weighing between 1.5 and 4.5 kg. Post-
weaning, piglets are transferred to nursery facilities.
 Boars weighing up to 450 kg: These mature male pigs are utilized for breeding purposes.
Typically housed separately from sows, they are introduced for mating when breeding is
intended.
 Gilts weighing 100 to 140 kg: Female pigs that haven't yet borne piglets. Selection criteria
usually include health, genetics, and adherence to breed standards.’
 Weaner Pigs: Piglets recently separated from their mothers, usually at 3-4 weeks old,
weighing between 4.5 and 14 kg. They transition from birthing areas to weaner barns until
they're prepared for finishing facilities.
Differentiate processes in different categories
The existing legislative veterinary frameworks differentiate the processes of stunning and killing
of farm animals into two distinct categories:
A. Euthanizing infected animals on the farms.
B. Stunning and euthanizing animals afflicted with injuries or illnesses, or necessitating
euthanasia due to the inability to process these young pigs as planned during large-scale
outbreaks of highly pathogenic diseases, due to market restrictions or border closures.
Manual Techniques not applicable for managing swine influenza outbreaks
Manual techniques are impractical for managing outbreaks of swine influenza due to their
inefficiency and time-consuming nature. These methods are only suitable for individual animal
management, requiring significant manpower and resources for isolation and biosecurity
measures.
Consequently, they are ill-suited for large-scale outbreaks, as demonstrated during the peak of
the pandemic when staffing shortages forced the closure of many pig slaughterhouses. To
address this challenge, scientists explored alternative depopulation methods, ruling out certain
techniques like smothering pigs with low-expansion firefighting foam and the Ventilation
Shutdown+ method due to their inefficiency or ethical concerns, particularly in Canada and the
EU.
Applying nitrogen-filled high expansion foam in enclosed containers
The process involves using nitrogen-filled high expansion foam in enclosed containers.
Developed over two decades with rigorous scientific testing and industrial refinement tailored to
farm conditions, a method was devised in 2004 to create an oxygen-deprived atmosphere with
levels below 2%.
Anoxia and HEFT have collaborated to develop three applications utilizing specially formulated,
plant-based high expansion foam infused with pure nitrogen. This unique foam, generated via
high-speed nozzles, expands dramatically, with expansion rates ranging from 1,000:1 to 2,500:1.
Once deployed within sealed containers, the foam rapidly displaces oxygen, typically achieving
full displacement within 30 seconds to 1 minute, depending on container size (ranging from 0.5
m3 to 40 m3). After filling, the container is promptly sealed.
A powerful nitrogen pulse then dissolves the foam within the container before any animals,
particularly pigs, might experience Loss of Posture, ensuring over 98% dispersion of nitrogen.
With the foam completely dissolved, animals are shielded from inhaling any residual particles.
This pioneering technology can be easily utilized by farmers, guaranteeing 100% effectiveness
even in emergency situations.
Nitrogen Foam applications in Enclosed Containers
Each size pigs requires specific euthanasia applications that ensure animal welfare during the
depopulation process. Manufactured by HEFT AB in Sweden, nitrogen bases systems in enclosed
containers are applicable for various types and sizes of animals. Independent research, focusing
on Animal Welfare indicators and measures, has been concluded for poultry and pigs of all
varieties. Ongoing research is being conducted on sheep, goats, and calves. This technology,
readily available in the market, complies with Canadian legislation.
The H1 system
The H1 system is customized for multiple newborn
piglets and weaners up to 7 kg, the H1 system is
available. This system with an internal size of 0,142
m3
(850x600x280 mm) and is completely filled within
7 seconds.
The C1 walk-in container
The C1 walk-in container system is designed for the
regular euthanasia of weaners, nursery pigs, and
growers weighing up to 70 kg. It features an interior
volume of 0.46 m3 (measuring 880x740x700 mm)
and achieves complete filling within 8 seconds.
Additionally, the C1 walk-in container system can be
utilized in emergency situations.
The C3 walk-in container system
The C3 walk-in container comes in various sizes,
usually on the footprint of a 40 ft container. This
enclosed walk-in container is suitable for full grown
pigs, and is in particular practical to process gilts,
sows, and boars. The container is equipped with
multiple foam nozzles and is filled between 60 to
80 seconds. During emergencies, the mobile C3
walk-in container can be transported to process
these larger pigs at the farm.
The capacity of the C3 walk-in container is limited
to processing pigs that enter the container by
walking in, which can be time-consuming.
Additionally, the enclosed nature of the container,
resulting in darkness, might present a challenging
obstacle to overcome. The development of the C3
walk-in container, in particular, has shown that the
production of foam is scalable.

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Managing large-scale outbreaks at Farrow-to-Weaner Farms

  • 1. Managing large-scale outbreaks at Farrow-to-Weaner Farms Recent human pandemics have highlighted the threat that swine influenza poses to both animal and public health through zoonotic transmission. Although stunning pigs using carbon dioxide gas is a common method in commercial slaughter, its limited availability during crises and the distress it causes to pigs, leading to significant discomfort before unconsciousness, are concerning. Conversely, stunning with nitrogen gas is less distressing, prompting the development of three distinct techniques based on applying high expansion foam in enclosed containers. Implementing these on-farm systems at farrow-to-weaner farms during large-scale outbreaks of contagious pig diseases allows for differentiation among various approaches for managing piglets based on weight, age, size, and quantity, categorized by their production stages. Each approach is tailored with specific objectives and management techniques. Collaborating with partners in Europe, the USA, and Canada, the established high expansion foam technology is now globally launched with specialized applications, produced by HEFT AB, the successful Swedish developer of science-based nitrogen foam technology. Harm Kiezebrink MBA Senior Subject Matter Expert Harm.kie@gmail.com
  • 2. Dedicated procedures for Subdivided categories During large-scale outbreaks of swine-Influenza A Virus (swIAV), prompting the exploration of diverse strategies suitable for managing emergencies in field conditions. By subdividing, a tailored approach can be adopted to improve operational efficiency and effectiveness while minimizing the impact on individual farms. This strategy optimizes emergency deployment capacity and simplifies standard procedures. Furthermore, utilizing the existing capacity of the farming helps alleviate scrutiny on animal welfare standards, offering a significant advantage. Farrow-to-Weaner Farms To distinguish among various approaches for managing piglets of particular weight, age, size, and quantity, pig farms are classified based on their production stages, each tailored with specific objectives and management techniques. At Farrow-to-Weaner pig farms, you will find pigs in the following categories:  Sows weighing up to 320 kg: They undergo farrowing, giving birth to piglets and nursing them until weaning, usually at 3-4 weeks old and weighing between 1.5 and 4.5 kg. Post- weaning, piglets are transferred to nursery facilities.  Boars weighing up to 450 kg: These mature male pigs are utilized for breeding purposes. Typically housed separately from sows, they are introduced for mating when breeding is intended.  Gilts weighing 100 to 140 kg: Female pigs that haven't yet borne piglets. Selection criteria usually include health, genetics, and adherence to breed standards.’  Weaner Pigs: Piglets recently separated from their mothers, usually at 3-4 weeks old, weighing between 4.5 and 14 kg. They transition from birthing areas to weaner barns until they're prepared for finishing facilities. Differentiate processes in different categories The existing legislative veterinary frameworks differentiate the processes of stunning and killing of farm animals into two distinct categories: A. Euthanizing infected animals on the farms. B. Stunning and euthanizing animals afflicted with injuries or illnesses, or necessitating euthanasia due to the inability to process these young pigs as planned during large-scale outbreaks of highly pathogenic diseases, due to market restrictions or border closures. Manual Techniques not applicable for managing swine influenza outbreaks Manual techniques are impractical for managing outbreaks of swine influenza due to their inefficiency and time-consuming nature. These methods are only suitable for individual animal management, requiring significant manpower and resources for isolation and biosecurity measures. Consequently, they are ill-suited for large-scale outbreaks, as demonstrated during the peak of the pandemic when staffing shortages forced the closure of many pig slaughterhouses. To address this challenge, scientists explored alternative depopulation methods, ruling out certain techniques like smothering pigs with low-expansion firefighting foam and the Ventilation Shutdown+ method due to their inefficiency or ethical concerns, particularly in Canada and the EU.
  • 3. Applying nitrogen-filled high expansion foam in enclosed containers The process involves using nitrogen-filled high expansion foam in enclosed containers. Developed over two decades with rigorous scientific testing and industrial refinement tailored to farm conditions, a method was devised in 2004 to create an oxygen-deprived atmosphere with levels below 2%. Anoxia and HEFT have collaborated to develop three applications utilizing specially formulated, plant-based high expansion foam infused with pure nitrogen. This unique foam, generated via high-speed nozzles, expands dramatically, with expansion rates ranging from 1,000:1 to 2,500:1. Once deployed within sealed containers, the foam rapidly displaces oxygen, typically achieving full displacement within 30 seconds to 1 minute, depending on container size (ranging from 0.5 m3 to 40 m3). After filling, the container is promptly sealed. A powerful nitrogen pulse then dissolves the foam within the container before any animals, particularly pigs, might experience Loss of Posture, ensuring over 98% dispersion of nitrogen. With the foam completely dissolved, animals are shielded from inhaling any residual particles. This pioneering technology can be easily utilized by farmers, guaranteeing 100% effectiveness even in emergency situations. Nitrogen Foam applications in Enclosed Containers Each size pigs requires specific euthanasia applications that ensure animal welfare during the depopulation process. Manufactured by HEFT AB in Sweden, nitrogen bases systems in enclosed containers are applicable for various types and sizes of animals. Independent research, focusing on Animal Welfare indicators and measures, has been concluded for poultry and pigs of all varieties. Ongoing research is being conducted on sheep, goats, and calves. This technology, readily available in the market, complies with Canadian legislation. The H1 system The H1 system is customized for multiple newborn piglets and weaners up to 7 kg, the H1 system is available. This system with an internal size of 0,142 m3 (850x600x280 mm) and is completely filled within 7 seconds. The C1 walk-in container The C1 walk-in container system is designed for the regular euthanasia of weaners, nursery pigs, and growers weighing up to 70 kg. It features an interior volume of 0.46 m3 (measuring 880x740x700 mm) and achieves complete filling within 8 seconds. Additionally, the C1 walk-in container system can be utilized in emergency situations.
  • 4. The C3 walk-in container system The C3 walk-in container comes in various sizes, usually on the footprint of a 40 ft container. This enclosed walk-in container is suitable for full grown pigs, and is in particular practical to process gilts, sows, and boars. The container is equipped with multiple foam nozzles and is filled between 60 to 80 seconds. During emergencies, the mobile C3 walk-in container can be transported to process these larger pigs at the farm. The capacity of the C3 walk-in container is limited to processing pigs that enter the container by walking in, which can be time-consuming. Additionally, the enclosed nature of the container, resulting in darkness, might present a challenging obstacle to overcome. The development of the C3 walk-in container, in particular, has shown that the production of foam is scalable.