Humanely Ending the Life of Animals: Research Priorities to Identify Alternatives to Carbon Dioxide

Steiner, Adrian; Axiak Flammer, Shannon; Beausoleil, N; Berg, C; Bettschart-Wolfensberger, R; Pinillos, R; Golledge, H; Marahrens, M; Meyer, R; Schnitzer, T; Toscano, Michael J.; Turner, P; Weary, D; Gent, T (2019). Humanely Ending the Life of Animals: Research Priorities to Identify Alternatives to Carbon Dioxide. Animals, 9(11) MDPI 10.3390/ani9110911

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The use of carbon dioxide (CO2) for stunning and killing animals is considered to compromise welfare due to air hunger, anxiety, fear, and pain. Despite decades of research, no alternatives have so far been found that provide a safe and reliable way to induce unconsciousness in groups of animals, and also cause less distress than CO2. Here, we revisit the current and historical literature to identify key research questions that may lead to the identification and implementation of more humane alternatives to induce unconsciousness in mice, rats, poultry, and pigs. In addition to the evaluation of novel methods and agents, we identify the need to standardise the terminology and behavioural assays within the field. We further reason that more accurate measurements of consciousness state are needed and serve as a central component in the assessment of suffering. Therefore, we propose a roadmap toward improving animal welfare during end-of-life procedures.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

05 Veterinary Medicine > Department of Clinical Veterinary Medicine (DKV) > Clinic for Ruminants
05 Veterinary Medicine > Department of Clinical Veterinary Medicine (DKV) > DKV - Anaesthesiology
05 Veterinary Medicine > Research Foci > Veterinary Public Health / Herd Health Management
05 Veterinary Medicine > Department of Clinical Research and Veterinary Public Health (DCR-VPH) > Veterinary Public Health Institute > Animal Welfare Division
05 Veterinary Medicine > Department of Clinical Research and Veterinary Public Health (DCR-VPH) > Veterinary Public Health Institute

UniBE Contributor:

Steiner, Adrian; Axiak, Shannon and Toscano, Michael Jeffrey

Subjects:

600 Technology > 630 Agriculture
500 Science > 590 Animals (Zoology)

ISSN:

2076-2615

Publisher:

MDPI

Language:

English

Submitter:

Lilian Karin Smith-Wirth

Date Deposited:

19 Nov 2019 14:45

Last Modified:

21 Feb 2020 15:15

Publisher DOI:

10.3390/ani9110911

PubMed ID:

31684044

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.135106

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/135106

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