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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle

Evaluation of Two Models of Non-Penetrating Captive Bolt Devices for On-Farm Euthanasia of Turkeys

1
Department of Animal Biosciences, University of Guelph, Guelph, ON N1G 2W1, Canada
2
The Campbell Centre for the Study of Animal Welfare, University of Guelph, Guelph, ON N1G 2W1, Canada
3
Department of Pathobiology, University of Guelph, Guelph, ON N1G 2W1, Canada
4
Department of Animal and Poultry Science, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, SK S7N 5A8, Canada
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Animals 2018, 8(3), 42; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani8030042
Received: 27 February 2018 / Revised: 14 March 2018 / Accepted: 18 March 2018 / Published: 20 March 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Humane Killing and Euthanasia of Animals on Farms)
On-farm euthanasia is a critical welfare issue in the poultry industry and can be particularly difficult to perform on mature turkeys due to their size. We evaluated the efficacy of two commercially available non-penetrating captive bolt devices, the Zephyr-EXL and the Turkey Euthanasia Device (TED), on 253 turkeys at three stages of production: 4–5, 10, and 15–20 weeks of age. Effectiveness of each device was measured using both ante- and post-mortem measures. Application of the Zephyr-EXL resulted in a greater success rate (immediate abolishment of brainstem reflexes) compared to the TED (97.6% vs. 89.3%, p = 0.0145). Times to last movement (p = 0.102) and cardiac arrest (p = 0.164) did not differ between devices. Ante- and post-mortem measures of trauma and hemorrhage were highly correlated. Skull fractures and gross subdural hemorrhage (SDH) were present in 100% of birds euthanized with both the Zephyr-EXL and TED devices. Gross SDH scores were greater in birds killed with the Zephyr-EXL than the TED (p < 0.001). Microscopic SDH scores indicated moderate to severe hemorrhage in 92% of turkeys for the Zephyr-EXL and 96% of turkeys for the TED, with no difference between devices (p = 0.844). Overall, both devices were highly effective inducing immediate insensibility through traumatic brain injury and are reliable, single-step methods for on-farm euthanasia of turkeys. View Full-Text
Keywords: animal welfare; euthanasia; turkey; insensibility; brain death animal welfare; euthanasia; turkey; insensibility; brain death
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MDPI and ACS Style

Woolcott, C.R.; Torrey, S.; Turner, P.V.; Serpa, L.; Schwean-Lardner, K.; Widowski, T.M. Evaluation of Two Models of Non-Penetrating Captive Bolt Devices for On-Farm Euthanasia of Turkeys. Animals 2018, 8, 42. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani8030042

AMA Style

Woolcott CR, Torrey S, Turner PV, Serpa L, Schwean-Lardner K, Widowski TM. Evaluation of Two Models of Non-Penetrating Captive Bolt Devices for On-Farm Euthanasia of Turkeys. Animals. 2018; 8(3):42. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani8030042

Chicago/Turabian Style

Woolcott, Caitlin R.; Torrey, Stephanie; Turner, Patricia V.; Serpa, Lilia; Schwean-Lardner, Karen; Widowski, Tina M. 2018. "Evaluation of Two Models of Non-Penetrating Captive Bolt Devices for On-Farm Euthanasia of Turkeys" Animals 8, no. 3: 42. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani8030042

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