Gas Killing

Gas killing can be a humane method of slaughtering poultry. However, at present, gas killing is used almost exclusively in large plants with specialised equipment. Anoxic gas mixtures (air which contains very low levels of oxygen) are used, which must render the birds unconscious and insensible without discomfort. Birds must be held in the gas for sufficient time so that they are dead on removal from the gas.

Only certain permitted gases – a commercially-available mixture of argon and carbon dioxide can be used to kill large numbers of poultry on-farm using containerised gas units (CGUs).  This service is available from established professional companies.  Smaller units for routine culling by farm staff are also available.  However, you must be aware of your legal obligations as the owner or keeper of the birds, which includes:

·       written notification to the Competent Authority, at least five days beforehand, of the intention to use gas mixtures to kill out flocks;

·       monitoring and recording critical parameters including, oxygen concentration and dwell times to demonstrate compliance with current legislation.

Whole-house killing of poultry by gas, where the building has been previously sealed, is only permitted when under the direct supervision of a veterinary surgeon.


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