A Systematic Literature Review on Depopulation Methods for Swine
Department of Veterinary Preventive Medicine, College of Veterinary Medicine, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43215, USA
Center for Surgical Outcomes Research, The Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, Columbus, OH 43215, USA
Department of Animal Sciences, College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43215, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 13 October 2020 / Revised: 12 November 2020 / Accepted: 15 November 2020 / Published: 20 November 2020
Mass depopulation involves ending the life of large numbers of animals due to emergency situations, for example, disease epidemics and environmental disasters. Depopulation should be conducted in a way that assures rapid and reliable unconsciousness followed by death. Our review article aimed to summarize depopulation methods available for swine and to highlight gaps in knowledge to guide the focus of future research. Our findings showed that the majority of research has been conducted with inhalable gaseous formulations (e.g., CO2) and that there was a lack of research in methods such as the use of captive bolts, electrocution, and oral formulations. Furthermore, our literature review showed a lack of research in the areas of worker safety, worker emotional health, and on validation of animal-based measures to be used for depopulation welfare assessments. Finally, a safe and reliable manner to induce unconsciousness and death for large populations of swine is lacking and urgently needed for preparedness purposes.