Humane Euthanasia

The topic of euthanasia is unpleasant under any circumstances. It is, however, one of those tasks that veterinarians and others who work with livestock must be prepared to do. In many cases it is the only practical way to provide prompt relief of otherwise uncontrollable animal suffering. To that extent, it is a responsibility of all who own or work with livestock to have the proper equipment and knowledge to conduct this procedure with maximum efficiency and effectiveness.

The purpose of this website is to aid those who may be required to perform these procedures in situations where veterinary assistance is not available. Indications for euthanasia along with important human and animal considerations are discussed. Specific anatomical sites for proper placement of penetrating captive bolt or gunshot are described and illustrated for all major livestock species. Certain methods of euthanasia require exsanguination to ensure death therefore, this technique and appropriate methods to confirm death are described. This website is intended for use by livestock owners, market operators, law enforcement personnel, persons who transport livestock and others who may need to know proper methods for euthanasia of farm animals.

For additional information, contact: 
Dr. J.K. Shearer
Dairy Extension Veterinarian