North Carolina State University
Mass Depop Planning Tools
Rapid methods for on-site swine depopulation are required in the event of an animal health emergency in North America. The term animal health emergency, as used in this context, includes a wide range of potential situations such as disease outbreaks, contamination with chemicals (eg, dioxin) or radionuclides (eg, cesium 137), and adverse animal welfare conditions created by transportation restrictions that severely limit feed deliveries and animal movement.
Based on input from the swine industry, methods have been developed for on-farm depopulation using CO2 gas introduced into enclosed dump-bed trucks, trailers, or temporary corrals constructed outside of production barns (ref JAVMA and SHAP papers). Carbon dioxide is approved for swine euthanasia by both the AVMA and the AASV (https://www.avma.org/KB/Policies/Documents/euthanasia.pdf; https://www.aasv.org/aasv/documents/SwineEuthanasia.pdf)
Potential advantages of CO2 over individually applied physical euthanasia methods include the ability to rapidly move animals out of buildings via existing walkways, reduced individual animal handling and need for physical restraint during euthanasia, and the ability to simultaneously contain and humanely kill many animals while providing a means for carcass containment and disposal transport.
The tools on this page can be used to estimate the time, personnel, and materials needed to implement an on-farm depopulation using CO2.