Guide organisation

This guide will address the subject of killing for disease control under the following headings:

  • General principles relating to the killing for disease control.
  • Organisation of on-farm killing for disease control purposes.
  • Individuals and their duties.
  • Logistical and biosecurity issues associated with disease control at a farm level.
  • Human safety.
  • Practical points for the humane killing of animals for disease control purposes.
  • Stunning and killing.
  • Humane killing.
  • Killing methods available for species and their suitability for circumstances.
  • Carcase disposal.
  • Points for consideration after killing/end of the day.

Mounting a national defence against notifiable contagious diseases requires cooperation between a range of government departments, stakeholders, partners, NGOs, local councils, farmers, hauliers and other parties. In many cases infected animals, and those seen to be “at risk”, will need to be humanely culled. It is vital these animals are killed as quickly as possible. During an emergency situation, derogations from specific requirements might be applied at the time of emergencies, but it is important that every effort is made to aim for best practice and uphold high standards of animal welfare. The EU regulation 1099/2009 includes provisions for depopulation due to disease control and lists permitted killing methods (excluding fish). In exceptional circumstances the competent authority may deviate from these regulations.

Next: General principles relating to the killing for disease control

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