OIE European Regional Conference on Animal Welfare Istanbul July 2009

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1 OIE European Regional Conference on Animal Welfare Istanbul July 2009 Implementation of the OIE standards in the countries of the Region Practical Experience Killing Animals for Disease Control Purposes David G Pritchard,Debby Reynolds, Gordon Hickman United Kingdom Defra Animal Health s FLIR Systems Ar3 Ar1 Sp1 Sp2 Ar2 Sp C FLIR Systems Ar3 Sp C Ar2 Sp2 Ar1 Sp

2 Overview Principles and challenges of animal welfare and killing The practical response - preparation contingency planning, operations, training, people Case study - avian influenza methods and systems to kill poultry Research on humaneness of Whole house gassing and gas in foam system Conclusions 2

3 3

4 Principles Challenge 1 - Policy Why and when to kill for disease control? Does the control of an infectious disease justify killing (large) numbers of wild or domestic animals? 4

5 Control by killing - duty of care to balance risk, costs & benefits Cases infected premises Suspect cases risk / consequence basis Dangerous contacts Contiguous culls Firebreak cull Vaccinate to kill Vaccinate to live Certainty benefit greater than cost Risk of costs exceeding benefits 5

6 Principles Challenge 2 - Practical 6

7 Effective preparations Preparation to kill animals for disease control Contingency planning includes welfare Engagement with stakeholders in advance Training in advance Decide on skills, knowledge, competences required Key people 7

8 Contingency Planning, Emergency Response Horizon Scanning Risk Assessment Disease Prevention Contingency Planning Disease Control (killing) Recovery Anticipation Assessment Prevention Preparation Response Learn lessons 8

9 Strategic Civil Contingencies Committee (Prime) Minister leadership Chief Veterinary Officer Other Government depts. Expert Science Advice Tactical National Disease Control Centre Operational and Policy Operational partners Stakeholders Operational Local Disease Control Centre Based in outbreak area Deliver the response Strong local networks 9

10 Engagement with stakeholders In advance on methods of killing logistics of operations humaneness of killing Public documents: available on web Training issues Communication 10

11 Getting it Right, First Time, Every Time A resource for training and updating vets, slaughtermen, support staff etc. Team leader Risk assessment Communication Farmer s knowledge Good handling systems Health & safety Biosecurity 11

12 Key people Leadership roles Senior experienced Trained, confident Have practical exposure to methods and situations Flexible Need strong support 12

13 What do they need to understand? Animal behaviour Handling livestock Weapons 13

14 Communication to deal effectively with media coverage 14

15 Communication about killing on infected premises Media handling is key proactive briefing, factual information and rebuttals The methods of killing you have described in your letter such as birds being drowned, buried or burnt alive or stuffed live into polythene bags or wheelie bins would not be permitted in this country Evidence on humaneness and systems 15

16 World wide TV images FMD 2001 Negative reaction 16

17 Briefings for media Set out what the industry does how it works explain key terms stunning, death, a humane kill, stress 17

18 UK experience and recent developments On farm killing practical methods Research on Whole House Gassing (WHG) Foam Delivery of gas Containerised Gassing Units (CGUs) 18

19 Lethal injection Strengths minimal equipment, already held humane Weakness requires vet to administer can only deal with small numbers individual animals need to be handled Uses immediate killing for disease/welfare young animals, hobby and backyard flocks 19

20 Neck dislocation Strengths no equipment field expertise humane at up to 3kg Weakness small numbers repetitive strain individual birds need to be handled Uses immediate killing for disease/welfare 20

21 Gassing bags Strengths Modest cost Proven technique commercially available Weakness Individual birds need to be handled H&S associated with use of gas Some welfare issues Low throughput Uses Small units 21

22 Whole house gassing Features no handling live birds quick humane kill large numbers Weakness need gas engineers health and safety : use of gas cost and quantity of gas required limited range of houses suitable? Uses large broiler units deep pit caged units large layer barns 22

23 Whole house culling of hens for disease purposes using carbon dioxide: behaviour, gas levels and temperature Deep pit battery house Lance injection of liquid CO2 Low temperature of liquid CO 2 (-78 o C ) Do birds suffer from hypothermia prior to unconsciousness? Video the behaviour of hens during while monitoring CO 2 levels and house temperature Telemetry/logging unit and harness Victoria Sandilands 1, Nicholas Sparks 1 and Dorothy McKeegan 2 1 SAC, West Mains Road, Edinburgh,, Scotland 2 University of Glasgow, Bearsden Road, Glasgow, Royal Vet college London, Animal Health (IASE 2009) 23

24 Temperature Whole house measured culling of at hens 7 locations for disease in a purposes conventional using deep carbon pit cage dioxide: house during injection behaviour, of gas COlevels 2. Time and (0) temperature is time of gas entry Temp (C) Mean temperature above 25 C Mean temperature 21.2 C Birds -Loss of balance and convulsions CO2 levels were 3.5-6% Time (min) Last Visible birds ceased moving Mean CO2 levels were 27% Victoria Sandilands 1, Nicholas Sparks 1 and Dorothy McKeegan 2 1 SAC, West Mains Road, Edinburgh,, Scotland 2 University of Glasgow, Bearsden Road, Glasgow, the Animal Health Office, and included collaboration with RVC London. (IASE 2009)

25 Infrared thermography Baseline spot temperatures of 37.4 ºC (head), 32.2 ºC (body) and 22.1 ºC (cage) Surface temperature of the head or body did not fall below 0 ºC, lowest ambient/cage temperature fell to 9 ºC Gross body movements visible Before gas delivery FLIR Sy st e ms Ar \C FLIR Sys te ms 8 min. after gas delivery Ar \ C Sp 1 Ar 1 Sp2 Ar2 Sp Sp Ar 2 Sp2 Ar 1 Sp

26 Whole house culling of hens for disease purposes using carbon dioxide: behaviour, gas levels and temperature Behaviours during hens exposure to CO 2 gas and what they indicate. Latency to first: Indicative of Mean time ± SD (sec) Mean CO 2 level (%) Gasps Aversion to change of atmosphere, respiratory distress 147 ± ± 0.8% Loss of balance Losing consciousness 215 ± ± 3.0% Convulsions Losing consciousness 276 ± ± 4.6% Last visible movement Death 731 ± 47 sec 27.3 ± 6.8%. Victoria Sandilands 1, Nicholas Sparks 1 and Dorothy McKeegan 2 1 SAC, West Mains Road, Edinburgh,, Scotland 2 University of Glasgow, Bearsden Road, Glasgow, Royal Vet college London, Animal Health (IASE 2009)

27 Whole house culling of hens for disease purposes using carbon dioxide: behaviour, gas levels and temperature Behaviours during hens exposure to CO 2 gas CONCLUSION Victoria Sandilands 1, Nicholas Sparks 1 and Dorothy McKeegan 2 1 SAC, West Mains Road, Edinburgh,, Scotland 2 University of Glasgow, Bearsden Road, Glasgow, Royal Vet college London, Animal Health (IASE 2009) The data from video footage indicate that birds died before they suffered from hypothermia while CO 2 levels were still relatively low. Although CO 2 can cause respiratory distress, birds began to lose consciousness (based on behaviour) in ~4 min. Whole house gas culling is a relatively quick method of emergency killing. In the case of a zoonotic disease outbreak, it is also relatively safe for human operators, because only a small number of staff must come in contact with live diseased birds

28 Foam delivery of gas Features Development stage foam surfactant used to hold gas pumped in to fill building bird movement breaks bubble and releases inert gas death by exposure to anoxic gas mixture, not by physical obstruction of trachea/lungs acceptance by birds 28

29 Welfare assessment of anoxic gas foam as an agent for emergency killing of poultry Dorothy McKeegan, Julian Sparrey, John Lowe, Christopher Wathes, Theo Demmers, Frans Withoos, Hatim Alibahti Marien Gerritzen Animal Sciences Group of Wageningen Netherlands Bruce Webster University of Georgia USA

30 Initial study on CO 2 enriched foam Foam expansion rate Time to fill up house Time for birds to be immersed in foam CO2 concentration 10cm. above foam 300:1 30 s. (24-40) 20 s. (12-40) 40-75% 78% in foam HR drop =Acute death Convulsions in 5 of 6 birds sc. Minimal fear (great alertness) Wing flapping 60s. After foam onset Skin Temp. 3 o C HR 300bmp Gerritzen & Sparrey - Animal Welfare 2008, 17 :

31 Water based foam vs CO 2 and Ar:CO 2 CO 2 Ar:CO 2 Water based foam Average time to motion cessation (in seconds) EEG silence Time to death 7 minutes 8 minutes 4 minutes

32 Hen trials Electro Cardio Gram responses CONTROLS Foam submerged with air Heart rate (bpm) Time (s) Time 0 birds exposed to foam Heart rate (bpm) Hen trials ECG responses N 2 FOAM submerged Time (s) motionless

33 Hen trials Electro Encephalo Gram responses N 2 foam Baseline Timings (seconds) of EEG changes in hens in relation to submersion Mean ± SD Quicker in foam than conventional anoxic nitrogen killing because you are not sucking in air Transitional 9.8 ± 2.8 Suppressed 30.1 ± 6.8 Isoelectric 65.7 ± s s s s

34 Containerised gassing units CGU Strengths modest cost proven technique humane Argon/CO2gas mix (80/20) flexible Weakness need to handle birds H&S associated with use of gas moderate throughput 34

35 Containerised Gassing Units (CGU) Usable now medium sized units (10-20,000 birds) free range and caged units, killing 6,000 birds per hour. Recommended for addition to OIE Standards 35

36 Other gas killing methods Chick pulp: mobile slaughter rendering devise Hungarian culling tipping trailer

37 Conclusions Animal welfare and killing for disease control is a multifaceted challenge Preparation is of vital importance Key people are essential to success Operations can be humane and quick Substantial progress has been made There is an ongoing implementation challenge 37

38 Implementation of the OIE standards in the countries of the Region Practical Experience Killing Animals for Disease Control Purposes David G Pritchard,Debby Reynolds, Gordon Hickman Thank you OIE European Regional Conference on Animal Welfare Istanbul July

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