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Conclusions

The objective of humane euthanasia is to induce death without causing pain or distress to the animal. When veterinary options are unavailable, the physical methods of gunshot and penetrating captive bolt combined with secondary procedures to ensure death are acceptable. Both have advantages and disadvantages, and both require training for safe and effective use. Cadavers or carcasses may be used to perfect techniques and train personnel. Euthanasia is an unpleasant task, but knowing how to perform it competently not only prevents needless suffering, but avoids those even more unpleasant conditions where improper technique may increase pain and distress in animals requiring euthanasia.