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Review of gaseous methods of killing poultry on-farm for disease control purposes
  1. A. B. M. Raj, BVSc, MVSc, PhD1,
  2. V. Sandilands, BA, MSc, PhD2 and
  3. N. H. C. Sparks, BSc, PhD2
  1. 1 Division of Farm Animal Science, School of Clinical Veterinary Science, University of Bristol, Langford, Bristol BS40 5DU
  2. 2 Avian Science Research Centre, SAC, West Mains Road, Edinburgh EH9 3JG
  1. Correspondence to Dr Sandilands at Avian Science Research Centre, SAC — Ayr, Ayr KA65HW


Poultry may need to be culled in the event of an outbreak of disease. Gassing has advantages over mechanical and electrical methods or overdoses of anaesthetics because large numbers can be killed simultaneously and little or no handling of the birds is required. However, gaseous killing methods may have welfare implications for the birds, which may find various gases more or less aversive, may undergo respiratory distress and/or experience convulsions, and may remain conscious for a considerable time before they die. In addition, the gases used may present health and safety risks to human operators, and be difficult to supply and deliver.

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