1a.Objectives (from AD-416)
The objective of this project is to validate a humane method of pig euthanasia.
1b.Approach (from AD-416)
Previous research thus far has euthanazied animals and used measures of the stress response and the amount of time to unconsciousness as validation of humaneness. However, a better method is to measure how aversive the pig perceives the procedure. Thus we will allow the pig to choose between a chamber with a reward and a noxious gas, or a chamber with no reward. If the pig truly has no aversion to the gas then it will stay in the gas chamber until it looses consciousness and is euthanazied.
Thus far we have built the chamber in which to test the aversion of the piglets to each gas mixture. We have also tested the attractiveness of the stimuli to draw the piglets into the treatment side. We have found that the combination of attractants: heat lamp, sow odor, littermates as seen through plexiglass; work well to attract the piglets. Application of treatments will proceed in the fall. An extension has been requested, though not approved but anticipated, to end the project May 30, 2012.