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You are here: Home / Journal Articles / Efficacy of Blunt Force Trauma, a Novel Mechanical Cervical Dislocation Device, and a Non-Penetrating Captive Bolt Device for On-Farm Euthanasia of Pre-Weaned Kits, Growers, and Adult Commercial Meat Rabbits / About

Efficacy of Blunt Force Trauma, a Novel Mechanical Cervical Dislocation Device, and a Non-Penetrating Captive Bolt Device for On-Farm Euthanasia of Pre-Weaned Kits, Growers, and Adult Commercial Meat Rabbits

By Jessica L. Walsh, Aaron Percival, Patricia V. Turner

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Category Journal Articles
Abstract

Developing effective and humane on-farm euthanasia methods is essential for all livestock industries to ensure that animals do not suffer and are killed humanely. Approved methods are lacking for commercial meat rabbits, potentially leading to poor welfare. We assessed several methods of on-farm killing of cull rabbits of different ages to determine which methods were most effective and humane. These included blunt force trauma (the most commonly used method on rabbit farms), a novel mechanical cervical dislocation device, and a non-penetrating captive bolt device. We evaluated method effectiveness by examining animal reflexes and behaviours after applying the method as well as by examining radiographs of rabbit heads for signs of skull damage, and by assessing the degree of trauma to the brain through dissection and microscopy, because more trauma is generally correlated with enhanced method effectiveness and irreversibility. We found that blunt force trauma resulted in an unacceptably high failure rate, particularly in mature rabbits, whereas the mechanical cervical dislocation and non-penetrating captive bolt devices were both highly effective for killing rabbits humanely and irreversibly. The non-penetrating captive bolt device was the most effective with a 100% success rate and could be used on all rabbits weighing more than 150 g.

Submitter

Katie Osborn

Date 2017
Publication Title Animals
Volume 7
Issue 12
ISBN/ISSN 2076-2615
Publisher Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute
Location of Publication Basel, Switzerland
DOI 10.3390/ani7120100
URL http://www.mdpi.com/2076-2615/7/12/100
Language English
Additional Language English
Tags
  1. Animal welfare
  2. commercial meat industry
  3. Euthanasia
  4. Farms
  5. Mammals
  6. physical methods
  7. rabbits