Impact of social media on the successful introduction of ideas: The Anoxia Method

I am a bit of an autodidact, but I have never worked in social media before. I had an idea that I would like to share with others who are also working in my field (see my profile on LinkedIn) but who I don’t know personally. I am not working at a university, I am a bit too buzzy for that at the moment, but I wanted to launch a new concept based on the euthanizing animals that are sick or cripple.

My ideas on animal welfare friendly methods of euthanizing sick and crippled animals are around the world and start to have a major impact on how people anticipate and perceive handling animals that deserve our respect. In total a time of 5 month, I created traffic resulting in 6.820 reads of dedicated readers – on subjects I care for – and on subjects I think others with similar interests might be interested in.

About the author
Harm Kiezebrink (1958) is an international consultant on animal disease control and emergency management. He has hands-on experience in various mass culling operations and developed new technologies for optimum performance. He is a regular adviser for national governments and international organizations.


Proof of Principle Anoxia Method Poultry Science 2013

In May 2013, the results of the assessment of the Anoxia Method were published in Poultry Science (2013 Poultry Science 92:1145–1154). The focus of the assessment was on 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.

One of the main conclusions was that the Anoxia Method is fundamentally different from low expansion fire fighting foam. Physiological observations and postmortem examination showed that the mode of action of the Anoxia Method is anoxia, not occlusion of the airway.

The most important conclusion however is that the trials provide proof – of – principle for the Anoxia Method (submersion in gas-filled, high expansion foam).

McKeegan et al concluded: The Anoxia Method provides a rapid and highly effective method of euthanasia, which may have potential to provide humane emergency killing or routine depopulation.


Will Human to Animal contact trigger for the next human pandemic?

In the publication of CCTV International published online on of May 6, Chinese scientists have unveiled more information on the source of the H7N9 bird flu virus. A recent research study done by the China Disease Prevention and Control Center is helping unravel the origins of the virus and how to contain its spread.

“Poultry sold at markets and birds migrating through China are believed to be the sources of the H7N9 virus. Research showed that among 8 gene segments in H7N9, 6 are re-assorted ones from H9N2, which is another bird flu virus that is common among China’s poultry. One gene segment is believed to have come from chickens in Jiangsu province, while the other 5 are believed to have come from chickens in Shanghai and areas surrounding Zhejiang province.”

What if H7N9 starts to be a real problem for the Chinese economy, when it escapes the wet-market environment and lands in a large-scale poultry production unit? As a professional crisis manager, I have worked for the past 10 years, contracted by veterinary authorities, managing and handling over 1.100 crisis situations related to animal disease outbreaks worldwide. My experience makes me doubt whether the available culling techniques are sufficiently safe and effective in order to control a large-scale outbreak of H7N9.


Animal welfare during pandemics and natural disasters

Interesting presentation of Dr. Mohan Raj, Bristol University, on the different methods of culling, a bit outdated, but still informative. Caring during crisis: Animal welfare during pandemics and natural disasters ; Humane killing of animals for disease control purposes. In this presentation you will find an overview of pro’s and con’s of the different techniques. Dr. Raj concluded that the Anoxia method was one of the most promissing techniques available, but at the time of presentation, the technique was not fully develeoped. Today, the technique has been evaluated and is ready to be implemented.


Final report on Anoxia Method published in Poultry Science

This month, a long awaited report has been published in Poultry science in the edition of May 2013. The team concluded that the trials conductedduring this study provide proof-of-principle thatsubmersion in gas-filled, high expansion foam is a rapid and highly effective method of euthanasia, which may have potential to provide humane emergency killing or routine depopulation action of high expansion, gas-filled foam is anoxia.


Local Chinese newsfeed on H7N9

Local updates: Shanghai daily with an overview of the local news on H7N9.
Read more:

Also in the news: H7N9 ‘a mix of four flu strains’. A new type of “quadruple reassortant” virus with a mixture of genes from four flu strains found in birds led to the H7N9 bird flu outbreak, researchers said yesterday.
Read More:


Dossier H7N7: Transmission of H7H7 in Holland 2003

The outbreak of highly pathogenic avian influenza A virus subtype H7N7 started at the end of February, 2003, in commercial poultry farms in the Netherlands. In this study, published in The Lancet in 2004, it is noted that an unexpectedly high number of transmissions of avian influenza A virus subtype H7N7 to people directly involved in handling infected poultry, providing evidence for person-to-person transmission.

Although the risk of transmission of these viruses to humans was initially thought to be low, an outbreak investigation was launched to assess the extent of transmission of influenza A virus subtype H7N7 from chickens to humans.

453 people had health complaints—349 reported conjunctivitis, 90 had influenza-like illness, and 67 had other complaints. We detected A/H7 in conjunctival samples from 78 (26·4%) people with conjunctivitis only, in five (9·4%) with influenza-like illness and conjunctivitis, in two (5·4%) with influenza-like illness only, and in four (6%) who reported other symptoms. Most positive samples had been collected within 5 days of symptom onset. A/H7 infection was confirmed in three contacts (of 83 tested), one of whom developed influenza-like illness. Six people had influenza A/H3N2 infection. After 19 people had been diagnosed with the infection, all workers received mandatory influenza virus vaccination and prophylactic treatment with oseltamivir. More than half (56%) of A/H7 infections reported here arose before the vaccination and treatment programme.


Pilot study Anoxia method 2008

Outbreaks of highly pathogenic avian influenza have necessitated the large scale killing of poultry that have either contracted or been exposed to the disease. In this pilot study, published in 2008, the conclusion is that the Anoxia method is a potentially acceptable killing method for laying hens.


On-Farm Killing Of Poultry Using Gas

On-Farm Killing Of Poultry Using Gas – UK Experiences from January 2007. David Pritchard (Senior Veterinary Consultant Animal Welfare) and Gordon Hickman (Head of Contingency Planning), both in their role of advising DEFRA on animal welfare issues, describing mass depopulation methods, comaring these methods with the Anoxia method of using Nitrogen base gas foam. Today, their presentation is still very relevant, since it was the start of what has become the Anoxia method.

Interesting read, including nice graphics!


Depopulation Methods for a Commercial Layer Flock

Interesting article in The Poultry Site dated July 2007 by A. Bruce Webster, Extension Poultry Scientist, University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. He concludes that there does not appear to be a good method at present for mass depopulation of commercial caged layer flocks in situations where humans could be infected by a disease carried by the birds.

Existing methods described briefly in this article either require extensive human-bird contact, which would probably be refused by the people assigned to remove the birds, or are likely to be impractical in the time frame required. Should an emergency arise that calls for mass depopulation of commercial caged layer flocks, it is difficult to think what might actually happen.

Although a mass depopulation event would be hard for any poultry company to cope with, it would be particularly devastating for an egg company with flocks concentrated in a complex of houses on one property. This and the lack of a good depopulation procedure make biosecurity a special imperative for the layer industry; even more so than for other sectors of the poultry industry. If an AI outbreak occurs in the vicinity of a commercial layer flock, vaccination of the flock may help contain the outbreak without going to the extreme of mass depopulation, provided biosecurity procedures have kept the flock shielded from the virus. Egg companies should seriously consider upgrading their biosecurity efforts.

This month, we started a project in China to develop a new method for mass depopulation of commercial caged layer flocks using the Anoxia method. This project is interesting because most industrial layer farms in China still use cages. With the current H7N9 outbreak in China, the development of such system is more than needed because depopulation of the layer hens on these farms would probably lead to situations where humans could be infected.

Read the article: Depopulation Methods for a Commercial Layer Flock