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Online Symposium –
Humanely Ending the
                                   Life of Animals

3rd-4th November 2020

The Swiss Federal Food Safety and Veterinary Office (FSVO), UFAW (the Universities Federation for Animal Welfare) and HSA (the Humane Slaughter Association) are pleased to announce that the 3rd symposium on Humanely Ending the Life of Animals will be held as a virtual meeting on November 3rd and 4th.

This symposium continues a growing initiative to identify, refine and implement alternative methods to CO2 for humanely ending the life of mice, rats, poultry and pigs to improve animal welfare in the laboratory, the slaughterhouse and during emergency depopulation. Following a successful first symposium in 2018, the 2nd symposium in 2019 assembled an international panel of experts, delivering keynote lectures on the current state of the research field and compiling a comprehensive roadmap of research priorities for alternatives to CO2. This year, we are delighted to announce the return of many of these experts. The symposium will comprise keynote lectures including an introduction to the basic sciences underlying killing and stunning, and for the first time, presentations selected from submitted abstracts. This will provide an ideal platform to hear from a diverse range of researchers.

This Symposium is recommended by the Swiss Association of Cantonal Veterinarians as continuing education for animal experimentation personnel working in Switzerland (0.5 days per Symposium day).

Day One - 3rd November 2020

Session 1 - 11:00 - 12:50  (NB: All times GMT)

11.00      Welcome
                Kaspar Joerger (Federal Food Safety and Veterinary Office, Switzerland)

11.05      Introduction and background to the meeting
                Huw Golledge (UFAW and HSA, United Kingdom) and Aline Steiner (University of Zürich,

11:30      Keynote: Where there's will, there is a way
                Mohan Raj (Independent, United Kingdom)

12:00     Asking chickens about feelings under exposure to COand alternatives to CO2. Novel animal
               model using broiler breeders
               Sabine Gebhardt-Henrich, Abdulsatar Abdel Rahman, Thom Gent and Michael Toscano
               (Universities of Bern and Zurich, Switzerland; Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Sweden)

12:25     A novel stunning method of pigs with high expansion nitrogen foam: An initial study
               Cecilia Lindahl (Agriculture and Food, RISE Research Institutes of Sweden, Sweden)

12:50      Lunch

Register for Day One Session 1

Session 2 - 14:00 - 16:00  (NB: All times GMT)

14:00     CO2-stunning of pigs. An example of behaviour during induction and overview of gas
               concentration and
 other key parameters during routine slaughter of pigs in modern low stress
               group stunning devices

               Karen Von Holleben and Martin Von Wenzlawowicz (Training and consultancy institute for animal
               welfare,  bsi Schwarzenbek, Schwarzenbek, Germany)

14:25     On-farm euthanasia of commercial meat rabbits. Evaluation of physical methods compared to
               gradual and
 fast-fill carbon dioxide gas exposure
               Jessica Walsh, John Van de Vegte, Brianne Mercer, Aaron Percival and Patricia Turner (University of
               Guelph, Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs and Charles River Laboratories,

14:50     Low atmospheric pressure stunning in pigs: Insights from analgesic and anxiolytic interventions
               Jessica Martin, Emma Baxter, Marianne Farish, Julian Sparrey, Peter Tennant, Adrian Ritchie and
               Dorothy McKeegan (The Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies and The Roslin Institute,
               University of Edinburgh and University of Glasgow, United Kingdom)

15.25     Panel discussion and wrap up

16:00     End

Register for Day One Session 2  


Day Two - 4th November 2020

Session 1 - 10:15 - 12:30  (NB: All times GMT)

10.15     Introduction to the day

10:30     Keynote: Connecting values and data for ethical euthanasia practices in the animal laboratory
               Larry Carbone (Independent, USA)

11:15     COexposure as translational cross-species experimental model for panic
               Nicole Leibold (University of Maastricht, The Netherlands)

11:40     Nitrogen gas as an alternative euthanasia agent for laboratory rodents
               Ellen Deelen and Esther Langen (Utrecht University. The Netherlands)

12:05     A systematic review of the welfare impact of CO2 euthanasia on research mice and rats
               Patricia Turner (Charles River Laboratories, Canada)

12:30    Lunch

Register for Day Two Session 1


Session 2 - 13:30 - 15:15  (NB: All times GMT)

13:30     Evaluation of the well-being during euthanasia in less frequently used laboratory rodents
               Debra Hickman (Indiana University, USA)

13: 55    Variation in rat COsensitivity
               Lucia Amendola and Daniel Weary (University of British Columbia, Canada)

14:25     The use of an automated captive bolt for euthanasia of laboratory rats
               Stephanie Yam, Catherine Schuppli and Daniel Weary (University of British Columbia, Canada)

14:50     Assessment of environmental factors affecting the well-being of rats euthanized with carbon
               Debra Hickman (Indiana University, USA)

15:15     Break

Register for Day Two Session 2


Session 3 - 15:45 - 17:00   (NB: All times GMT)

15:45     Understanding rat emotional responses to CO2
               Lucia Amendola and Daniel Weary (University of British Columbia, Canada)

16:05     Attitudes of European and Canadian laboratory animal professionals and researchers towards
 dioxide euthanasia for rodents and perceptions of barriers for implementation of

               Michael Brunt, Lucia Améndola and Daniel Weary (University of British Columbia, Canada)

16.30     Panel discussion and wrap up

17:00     End

 Register for Day Two Session 3


Click here to download a Timetable



Please click below to register for the meeting. To register you will need to provide your name, email address and institutional affiliation (if relevant). Information you share during registration for this meeting will be shared with FSVO, UFAW, and the HSA (and also with our Webinar software provider – GoToWebinar).

The symposium is free to attend. If you have any questions please contact

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