Staff Publications

Staff Publications

  • external user (warningwarning)
  • Log in as
  • language uk
  • About

    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

    We have a manual that explains all the features 

Record number 438367
Title Physiological and behavioral responses of poultry exposed to gas-filled high expansion foam
Author(s) Mckeegan, D.E.F.; Reimert, H.G.M.; Hindle, V.A.; Boulcott, P.; Sparrey, J.M.; Wathes, C.M.; Demmers, T.G.M.; Gerritzen, M.A.
Source Poultry Science 92 (2013)5. - ISSN 0032-5791 - p. 1145 - 1154.
Department(s) Animal Health & Welfare
Publication type Refereed Article in a scientific journal
Publication year 2013
Keyword(s) mass emergency depopulation - carbon-dioxide - operations - welfare - system
Abstract Disease control measures require poultry to be killed on farms to minimize the risk of disease being transmitted to other poultry and, in some cases, to protect public health. 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 were exposed to air-, N2-, or CO2-filled high expansion foam (expansion ratio 300:1) under standardized conditions. Birds were equipped with sensors to measure cardiac and brain activity, and measurements of oxygen concentration in the foam were carried out. Initial behavioral responses to foam were not pronounced but included headshakes and brief bouts of wing flapping. Both N2- and CO2-filled foam rapidly induced ataxia/loss of posture and vigorous wing flapping in all species, characteristic of anoxic death. Immersion in air-filled, high expansion foam had little effect on physiology or behavior. Physiological responses to both N2- and CO2-filled foam were characterized by a pronounced bradyarrythymia and a series of consistent changes in the appearance of the electroencephalogram. These were used to determine an unequivocal time to loss of consciousness in relation to submersion. Mean time to loss of consciousness was 30 s in hens and 18 s in broilers exposed to N2-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 is explained by the very low oxygen concentrations (below 1%) inside the foam. Physiological observations and postmortem examination showed that the mode of action 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 expansion foam provides a rapid and highly effective method of euthanasia, which may have potential to provide humane emergency killing or routine depopulation
There are no comments yet. You can post the first one!
Post a comment
Please log in to use this service. Login as Wageningen University & Research user or guest user in upper right hand corner of this page.