Euthanasia methods are designed to cause minimal pain and distress. Euthanasia is distinct from animal slaughter and pest control although in some cases the procedure is the same.
Acceptable pharmacological methods include injected drugs and gases that first depress the central nervous system and then cardiovascular activity. Acceptable physical methods must first cause rapid loss of consciousness by disrupting the central nervous system.
Upon administration of intravenous anesthetic, unconsciousness, respiratory then cardiac arrest follow rapidly, usually within 30 seconds. Some veterinarians perform a two-stage process: an initial injection that simply renders the pet unconscious and a second shot that causes death.
This allows the owner the chance to say goodbye to a live pet without their emotions stressing the animal. It also greatly mitigates any tendency toward spasm and other involuntary movement which tends to increase the emotional upset that the pet's owner experiences.
For large animals, the volumes of barbiturates required are considered by some to be impractical, although this is standard practice in the United States. Some specially formulated combination products are available, such as Someone (phenobarbital / cinchonize) and Tribute (embutramide / chloroquine / lidocaine), which cause deep unconsciousness and cardiac arrest independently with a lower volume of injection, thus making the process faster, safer, and more effective.
Occasionally, a horse injected with these mixtures may display apparent seizure activity before death. Anecdotal reports that long-term use of phenylbutazone increases the risk of this reaction are unverified.
Gas anesthetics such as isoflavone and sevoflurane can be used for euthanasia of very small animals. The animals are placed in sealed chambers where high levels of anesthetic gas are introduced.
Death may also be caused using carbon dioxide once unconsciousness has been achieved by inhaled anesthetic. In 2013, the American Veterinary Medical Association (ALMA) issued new guidelines for carbon dioxide induction, stating that a flow rate of 10% to 30% volume/min is optimal for the humane authorization of small rodents.
Cervical dislocation, or displacement (breaking or fracturing) of the neck, is an older yet less common method of killing small animals such as mice. Performed properly it is intended to cause as painless a death as possible and has no cost or equipment involved.
It is unknown how long an animal remains conscious, or the level of suffering it goes through after a correct snapping of the neck, which is why it has become less common and often substituted with inhalants. While intraperitoneal injection is fully acceptable (although it may take up to 15 minutes to take effect in dogs and cats ), an intracranial (IC) injection may only be performed on an unconscious or deeply sedated animal.
The animal is shot in the forehead with the bullet directed down the spine through the medulla elongate, resulting in instant death. The risks are minimal if carried out by skilled personnel in a suitable location.
Captive bolt gun Commonly used by the meat packing industry to slaughter cattle and other livestock. The bolt is fired through the forehead causing massive disruption of the cerebral cortex.
In cattle, this stuns the animal, though if left for a prolonged period it will die from cerebral edema. Horses are killed outright by the captive bolt, making pitching and exsanguination unnecessary.
Often animal shelter workers are trained to perform euthanasia as well. In the case of large animals which have sustained injuries, this will also occur at the site of the accident, for example, on a racecourse.
In the U.S., for companion animals euthanized in animal shelters, 14 states prescribe intravenous injection as the required method. In March 2007, he was sued by former State Representative Chesley V. Morton, who wrote the law, and subsequently ordered by the court to enforce all provisions of the Act.
Otherwise, the animal facility will often freeze the body and subsequently send it to the local landfill. In some instances, animals euthanized at shelters or animal control agencies have been sent to meat rendering facilities to be processed for use in cosmetics, fertilizer, gelatin, poultry feed, pharmaceuticals and pet food.
However, a 2002 FDA study found no dog or cat DNA in the foods they tested, so it was theorized that the drug found in dog food came from euthanized cattle and horses. Wikimedia Commons has media related to Animal euthanasia.
^ Close B, Banister K, Baum ans V, Berth EM, Bro mage N, Bunyan J, Erhard W, Blackwell P, Gregory N, Abarth H, Morton D, Warwick C (1996). ^ UK Veterinary Medicines Directorate Product Notes for 20% Phenobarbital solution.
“Carbon dioxide for euthanasia: concerns regarding pain and distress, with special reference to mice and rats”. “Euthanasia of small animals with nitrogen; comparison with intravenous phenobarbital”.
Penal Code 597u (a)(2) ^ Tom J. Doherty, Alex Valverde, Manual of Equine Anesthesia and Analgesia, Blackwell Publishing 2006 (p. 352) ^ C.J. Laurence, “Animal welfare consequences in England and Wales of the 2001 epidemic of foot and mouth disease”, Rev.
Epic, 2002, 21 (3), 863–868) ^ “Animal Rights Uncompromised:'No-Kill' Shelters”, PETA, Retrieved 26 June 2010; “A reply from PETA to a letter inquiring about its authorization decisions”, Petrescueonline.net, Retrieved 26 June 2010. CS1 main: archived copy as title (link) ^ Allen, Moira Anderson (2002).
“Pet funeral home offers services for grieving owners”. The National Agricultural Law Center: Congressional Research Service Reports.
Image credit: Extortion Films/Shutterstock.com Each year over a million cats and dogs are euthanized in the US. Different organizations and institutions quote varying numbers as to how many potential pets are put down.
According to the ASPCA, about 1.5 million shelter animals are euthanized each year in the US, which includes about 670,000 dogs and 860,000 cats. Image credit: Soda Productions/Shutterstock.Comte idea of “euthanasia” is distinct from “killing”.
Others are very old and near the end of their lives, and some have aggression problems that cannot be fixed, making them impossible companions for humans. According to the ASPCA, a healthy, happy cat or dog is never euthanized these days in the US simply because there was no home for it.
Image credit: David Devonian/Shutterstock.generally speaking, only accredited and licensed people can euthanize animals in the US. The person doing the euthanizing must have permission to possess and handle the chemicals often used in putting animals down.
This is done by animal control agents, veterinarians, or law enforcement officers. Lawmakers have consulted with the American Veterinary Medical Association (ALMA) in many states to determine what is the most humane method of euthanizing an animal.
The ALMA’s guidelines regarding euthanasia also permit the use of gas chambers to end animals lives. Over half of owners stay in the room while their pet is being euthanized, in order to honor their life.
Burying your pet in the backyard could be dangerous to other animals due to the amount of chemicals in their body. The ASPCA estimates that about 3.2 million cats in the US enter shelters annually, and that 860,000 are put down.
Some, like Mark Cushing of the Animal Policy Group, a lobbying firm, say that the US has a demand for about 8 million dogs alone, each year, and that shelters cannot meet this need. Others, such as the director of the No Kill Advocacy Center in California feel that Americans should consider adopting pets that need homes from places like Puerto Rico and Mexico and cease relying on breeders for a pet, as many are in need.
According to the Humane Society, this process involves placing an animal in a small box with no light. The animal often struggles for help and can go into convulsions for a length of time as it gasps for air, before dying.
The US Fish and Wildlife Service has told of a case where a horse was put down by injections, and birds that came to eat from its carcass out in the open then died from ingesting the chemicals present in the horse. This is called secondary poisoning, and it is something that veterinarians enacting euthanasia can be charged with if they are not careful.