Dr. Melissa Moggy, Alberta Farm Animal Care
The decision to euthanise on farm is a difficult decision every producer has to make. Euthanising on farm may be necessary when a sick or injured animal is unresponsive to treatment, has a poor chance of recovery, and is unfit for transportation. When not performed correctly, on-farm euthanasia can cause unwanted pain and suffering.
Gunshot is one of the most common methods of euthanasia producers perform for production species.Benefits of this method are that it is suitable for all ages (given that the appropriate firearm is used), if properly performed it results in immediate unconsciousness, cost is relatively low, and it does not require the producer to get too close to the animal. This is likely not the most appropriate method for poultry, however. Regardless of the method used, producers must take safety measures for themselves and bystanders. Refer to your species-specific “Code of Practice” for more information on proper placement and appropriate methods of euthanasia (www.nfacc.ca).