Preliminary evaluation of the effectiveness of captive-bolt guns as a killing method without exsanguination for horned and unhorned sheep

The current study aims to make welfare-based recommendations for gun/cartridge combinations and shooting positions that will ensure death of the sheep (horned, unhorned, rams and ewes), without the need for either sticking or pithing. The study examined the pathophysiology of captive-bolt gun (CBG) injuries that result in incomplete concussion leading to death. Behavioural, brainstem and […]

Captive-bolt euthanasia of cattle: determination of optimal-shot placement and evaluation of the Cash Special Euthanizer Kit for euthanasia of cattle

Humane euthanasia of cattle represents a challenge to the beef and dairy industries. Penetrating captive bolt, while traditionally considered to be only a stunning method, can be an effective single-step euthanasia method if both the cerebral cortex and brainstem are disrupted. This report describes a preliminary study investigating the likelihood of brainstem disruption for two […]

Comparison of novel mechanical cervical dislocation and a modified captive bolt for on-farm killing of poultry on behavioural reflex responses and anatomical pathology

An alternative emergency method for killing poultry on-farm is required following European legislation changes (EU 1099/2009), which heavily restricts the use of manual cervical dislocation. This study investigated the kill efficacy of two mechanical methods that conform to the new legislation: (i) a novel mechanical cervical dislocation device; and (ii) a modified captive-bolt device (Rabbit […]

Evaluation of brainstem disruption following penetrating captive-bolt shot in isolated cattle heads: comparison of traditional and alternative shot-placement landmarks

Currently recommended landmarks for captive-bolt euthanasia of cattle often result in failure to penetrate the brainstem. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the ability to disrupt the brainstem by placing the shot at a higher position on the head. Intact heads from euthanased animals or natural mortalities were used for this study. Heads […]

Humane euthanasia of neonates I: validation of the effectiveness of the Zephyr EXL non-penetrating captive-bolt euthanasia system on neonate piglets up to 10.9 kg live-weight

To determine if mechanical blunt force trauma using a non-penetrating captive bolt was a viable method of producing an immediate stun/kill in neonate piglets (Sus scrofa domesticus) as an alternative to manual blunt force trauma. Piglets (n = 60) were acquired from a local producer and allocated to one of five weight ranges: birth weight […]