Current control strategies for avian influenza (AI) and other highly contagious poultry diseases include surveillance, quarantine, depopulation, disposal, and decontamination. Selection of the best method of emergency mass depopulation needs to maximize human health and safety while minimizing disease spread and animal welfare concerns. An overall goal of this project was to find a way to evaluate the welfare of the poultry subjected to a depopulation treatment. This study consisted of two experiments to evaluate the efficacy of mass depopulation methods. Experiment 1 was conducted as a proof of concept for the use of the alpha/delta (A/D) ratio in evaluating the time to loss of consciousness in poultry. Experiment 2 was conducted to evaluate the effectiveness of two mass depopulation methods on turkeys. The methods that were tested were carbon dioxide (CO2) gassing and firefighting foam.
Not that, according to Directive EU 1099/2009 firefighting foam is not allowed to be used for culling poultry within the European Union.
Dorothy McKeegan presented on October 2011 her study: High Expansion Gas-foam: a humane agent for emergency killing of poultry? Dorothy studied Zoology at the University of Glasgow before completing the MSc in Applied Animal Behaviour and Animal Welfare at Edinburgh University.
After gaining her PhD in 1999, she worked at Roslin Institute near Edinburgh, conducting neurophysiological and behavioural research relating to the welfare of poultry. Dorothy was appointed as the BVA Animal Welfare Foundation lecturer at Glasgow in February 2005, and her teaching role involves delivering an integrated teaching programme for animal welfare and ethics across the undergraduate curriculum.
As a member of the Division of Animal Production and Public Health, Dorothy continues to pursue her research interests in avian sensory physiology, pain perception and poultry welfare. In current projects she is investigating avian pain, humane emergency slaughter and the welfare implications of production-related conditions. Dorothy also has an educational research interest in the teaching and assessment of ethical reasoning in veterinary students.