OIE animal welfare killing of poultry for disease control

In January 2012, the OIE gave in Japan an update on the latest developments in killing animals for disease control purposes. The Anoxia method was one of the presented techniques. Today, one year later, the Anoxia technique is commercially available worldwide. Inhumane killing of animals is not longer necessary and the risks of getting infected has been reduced to a minimum.


Mohan Raj; Presentation at the UPC meeting 2004

On December 16, 2004, Dr. Mohan Raj held a three-hour seminar on the “Welfare, Economic and Practical Implications of Gas Stunning Prior to Poultry Slaughter” at the U.S. Department of Agriculture in Washington that stirred up lots of discussions throughout the US Poultry industry at that timme, DC. Dr. Raj is Senior Research Fellow in the Farm Animal Division of the School of Clinical Veterinary Science at the University of Bristol, Langford, UK (England). One of his main conclusions was that “Use of anoxia [absence of oxygen] is far more humane than gas mixtures containing carbon dioxide.”. After almost 8 years, the Anoxia equipment is commercially available, also in the USA. Form more info, sent your request to info@N2GF.com.


Anoxia equipment commercially available within the EU

The most animal welfare friendly euthanasia technique for killing poultry is now commercially available within the EU. According to Regulation EU 1099/2009 each poultry farm within the EU need to be equipped with a slaughter technique (listed in this new regulation). Manual techniques like neck pulling are banned from being used. This means that each poultry farm in Europe needs to be equipped with euthanasia equipment that this technique is easy to use.

The method we developed is based on the principle of Anoxia: total absence of oxygen, using only water, soap, and nitrogen. The animals are stunned within 30 seconds. 25 seconds later, the animals die without any unnecessary stress or pain.

The Anoxia method is developed by Anoxia Europe BV (Hoge Eng 52a, 3881 TN Putten, Holland. For more info, please contact dr. Michiel van Mil, +31 341-701687, Mobile +31 652 266944, email michiel@anoxia-europe.com. www.anoxia-europe.com.


From virus to biomass – 7 steps that will make the change in disease control –

I would like to share my vision the possibilities to prevent the return of H7N9. All measures taken in the past to stop major outbreaks have totally failed in every sense of the word. It is time for radical change in dealing with outbreaks. This is my step-by-step approach to battle outbreaks.


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.


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.


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