An animal welfare specialist with J. Woods Livestock Services says by outlining a clear euthanasia policy, providing proper training and ensuring workers are familiar with the equipment, swine managers can ensure euthanasia is conducted in a timely and humane manner.
Ensuring timely and humane euthanasia of farm animals has become a hot button topic among consumers.
Jenifer Woods, an animal welfare specialist with J. Woods Livestock Services, says euthanasia is an unpleasant but necessary part of the job so proper training, equipment and procedures are critical.
Jenifer Woods-J. Woods Livestock Services:
With barn workers, if you draw that line in the sand, it's very important to know and have the backing that they're making the right decision, that that animal is terminal, this is the best thing for the animal, if they're comfortable with the process and the way they're doing it and the tools and they've been trained, that makes a huge difference.
Versus somebody going in with no training, not comfortable with the device they're using and not sure, maybe it can get better, maybe it can't, what am I going to do?
Education and training and experience and support of your management is critical to that.
It's got to be about the animal, not about you.
It can't be about how it makes you feel, it's got to be about what's best for the animal and you need to do it in a timely manner.
In production livestock these animals put food on our table, they put a shelter over our kids' head and we own them the best.
That includes, in the end, we need to make sure we are doing what's best for the animal, not what makes us feel better, not about what's economically the best for us, not about what's convenient but we've really got to chisel it down to just what is best for them and we owe them that.
Woods says, in the past, the industry has not provided the necessary tools for producers to train themselves or their employees making dealing with euthanasia more difficult and stressful.