#20-121

Complete

Category

Date Full Report Received

08/21/2020

Date Abstract Report Received

08/21/2020

Investigation

Institution:
Primary Investigator:

Funded By

The content should include the following: an explanation of the objectives, descriptive narrative of how research was conducted, a discussion of the research findings sufficient to give a thorough understanding of the results, and explain what these findings mean to the industry. This summary is to be written for non-technical audiences. Please include your contact information.

The current design for on-farm euthanasia of market weight or adult swine typically relies on individual handling and restraint of each animal. In a large scale depopulation event (major market disruption or foreign animal disease outbreak), the stress on personnel both physically and emotionally from individual animal handling is problematic (Stikeleather et a., 2013). The development of a method for depopulation events that meet humane euthanasia standards that do not require individual animal handling is needed. Carbon dioxide (CO2) inhalation is an American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) approved euthanasia method for swine. The advantages of CO2 include its non-flammable properties and easy reversal in events of accidental human exposure. The objectives of this project are to successfully modify and validate a mobile dump trailer into a portable CO2 device for the euthanasia of groups of market weight and adult swine.

An 8′ wide x 40′ long x 40″ tall dump trailer was modified to handle CO2 gas input and holding time for euthanasia swine. A ceiling was built inside the trailer 3′ high to limit the area needed to fill with CO2. The ceiling also provided a means to ensure animals could not lift their heads above the CO2 gas line for proper exposure. The ceiling contained a hinged cover along the middle. This hinged cover could be opened to provide a space for people to walk upright with a sorting board to aid in loading the trailer. A swing gate hinged at the level of the ceiling was installed at halfway of the trailer to ease the loading process. This gate could be lowered into place and locked after the front half of the trailer was filled with animals to prevent them from running back off the trailer. The back half of the trailer could then be filled to reach the max animal capacity. Once the trailer was loaded and closed, the gate was unlocked. Once the euthanasia process is completed, the gate can swing open by the weight of the carcasses during the dumping process.