The Humane EuthanasiaOn-Farm Applications

North Carolina State University Swine Welfare Research from 2004-2005. In general, an animal should be culled when it is no longer profitable or euthanatized when it is inhumane to allow it to continue living. The difficulty all farm managers encounter is defining when animals become uneconomic and whether to treat or euthanatize the compromised animal. Individual managers usually resort to a very subjective assessment often heavily weighted by the perceived ability of the animal to return a profit. Focus groups of North Carolina farm managers have told us that having clear criteria for when to euthanatize an animal would help reduce some of the job stress they feel. Unlike the companion animal arena, where there is much discussion and many suggested guidelines on the appropriateness and timing for euthanasia, there are relatively few guidelines for when a farm animal should be euthanatized. Our study developed a protocol for handling compromised pigs. We collected economic and welfare information that producers can use to make informed decisions on when pigs should be euthanatized.