Interpretive Summary: Technical Note: Validation of the effectiveness of electric stunning for euthanasia of mature swine
By: Scott A. Kramer, Brooklyn K. Wagner, Steve J. Moeller, Andrew S. Bowman, Justin D. Kieffer, Andréia Gonçalves Arruda, Michael D. Cressman, and Monique D. Pairis-Garcia
Euthanasia is a moral obligation of all individuals working in the swine industry. A majority of acceptable methods have been validated for market weight pigs, while less attention has focused on heavy-weight mature boars and sows. The objectives of the current study were to evaluate the effectiveness of a mobile electric stunner (E-STUN) as a method of humane euthanasia in heavy-weight mature boars and sows and to assess the outcomes when compared with a penetrating captive bolt gun (PCBG) method. The efficacy of the treatment was defined as any pig that achieved cardiac and respiratory arrest within 10 min after treatment application. The amount of traumatic brain injury was evaluated across the brain, and the presence of intracranial hemorrhage was also noted. All animals were immediately rendered insensible, and rhythmic breathing was absent following either treatment application. Boars and sows had a decreased time to last heartbeat with the E-STUN when compared with the PCBG method. Intracranial hemorrhage was common for both methods, and visible disruption of brain tissue was evident due to the physical nature of the PCBG. This study demonstrated that a mobile E-STUN is as effective as a PCBG for humane euthanasia of heavy-weight mature swine.
Read the full article on the Journal of Animal Science.