Euthanasia of goat kids-Animal Welfare-Final.pdf (495.95 kB)

Evaluation of the efficacy of a non-penetrating captive bolt to euthanase neonatal goats up to 48 hours of age

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journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-03, 16:27 authored by Mhairi Sutherland, Trevor WatsonTrevor Watson, Craig Johnson, Suzanne Millman
Manual blunt force trauma is a common method of euthanasia for sick or excess kid goats. This practice is not well received by farm operators or industry and may vary in effectiveness, resulting in a call for a more standardized controlled mechanical method. The overall objective of this research was to evaluate the effectiveness of the ‘TED’ nonpenetrating captive bolt (TED) to euthanize goats up to 48 h of age. The aim of experiment 1 (n = 15) and 2 (n = 10) was to evaluate the optimum anatomical site for placement of the TED and goat head position by postmortem assessment of traumatic brain injury and signs of insensibility and death. Three different anatomical sites (frontal bone, poll or behind the poll) and two head positions (head flat or bent) were evaluated. In experiment 3, 100 goats were euthanized and the presence of brainstem reflexes, rhythmic breathing, convulsions and cardiac activity was recorded. In experiment 4, electroencephalogram (EEG) was recorded in seven goats to assess awareness following application of the TED. In experiment 1 and 2 positioning the TED behind the poll with the goats head bent so that the chin was touching the chest caused immediate insensibility followed by death and hemorrhaging close to the vital centers of the brainstem. In experiment 3, all goats were rendered immediately insensible without return to sensibility prior to cessation of cardiac activity. The TED reliably caused immediate, sustained insensibility followed by death in goats up to 48 h of age. Electroencephalogram confirmed that the TED resulted in the immediate onset of EEG activity which was not compatible with awareness.



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AgResearch Ltd

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Animal Welfare




Sutherland, M. A., Watson, T. J., Johnson, C. B., & Millman, S. T. (2016). Evaluation of the efficacy of a non-penetrating captive bolt to euthanase neonatal goats up to 48 hours of age. Animal Welfare, 25(4), 471–479. doi:10.7120/09627286.25.4.471


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