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.