Training and Aesthetic Concerns

dairy cow

Personnel Training

Large farms and ranches are advised to develop personnel training programs for proper instruction of humane euthanasia techniques. As indicated in the previous discussion, the skill and experience of personnel are of paramount importance when gunshot or penetrating captive bolt/exsanguination or pithing and/or the injection of KCl are used for euthanasia of sick and debilitated animals. Experience has shown that many people (even those experienced in handling livestock) are not aware of the anatomical landmarks for proper execution of these techniques. Furthermore, persons should be aware that there is significant danger for the operator (or for bystanders with gunshot) whenever these methods of euthanasia are used. On large farms or ranches, most, if not all, persons should be familiar with these procedures and several should be specifically trained to perform this task. However, only those who can demonstrate a working knowledge and proficiency with the techniques should be permitted to perform euthanasia procedures. When these methods are not properly performed, animals may become injured, have varying degrees of consciousness, and experience needless pain and distress.

Experienced persons should assist in the training of inexperienced persons and utilize carcasses to demonstrate anatomical landmarks and application of the various techniques. Carcasses should be used for practice by trainees until they become competent with the euthanasia devices and procedures. People must also be aware of how to confirm death.

Aesthetic Concerns

Both gunshot and penetrating captive bolt are aesthetically displeasing procedures. Euthanasia by either technique results in involuntary movements that may be inaccurately interpreted as painful to an inexperienced person. Therefore, when and where possible, it is recommended that such procedures be performed in areas out of the public view.