In order to become one step ahead of an outbreak of high pathogen diseases like the current H5N2, the veterinary authorities need to stop the outbreak immediately after the first signals occur. Strict and thorough biosecurity measures are the most fundamental feature to protect poultry flocks on farms.
Without functional culling techniques, the options to effectively and efficiently cull in average more than 925,000 chickens per farm (in Iowa, USA) are limited: either by macerating the chickens alive – or by ventilation shut-down (closing down all ventilation, placing heaters inside the house, and heat the entire house to a temperature higher than 600 C).
Although both methods cause death of the birds, it has not been proven to be effective nor efficient. The primary goal to slowdown outbreaks and bring it to a complete stop but macerating live birds and killing them by heat stress and lack of oxygen would be against all International Animal Welfare standards.
Animal welfare specialists in disease control strongly oppose against the introduction of these most cruel methods of killing poultry and argue that the ban on these methods should be maintained and alternative methods need to be considered.