Abstracts: Controlling highly pathogenic avian influenza outbreaks: an epidemiological and economic model analysis

Outbreaks of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) can cause large losses for the poultry sector and for animal disease controlling authorities, as well as risks for animal and human welfare. In the current simulation approach epidemiological and economic models are combined to compare different strategies to control highly pathogenic avian influenza in Dutch poultry flocks.

Evaluated control strategies are the minimum EU strategy (i.e., culling of infected flocks, transport regulations, tracing and screening of contact flocks, establishment of protection and surveillance zones), and additional control strategies comprising pre-emptive culling of all susceptible poultry flocks in an area around infected flocks (1km, 3km and 10km) and emergency vaccination of all flocks except broilers around infected flocks (3km). Simulation results indicate that the EU strategy is not sufficient to eradicate an epidemic in high density poultry areas. Continue reading Abstracts: Controlling highly pathogenic avian influenza outbreaks: an epidemiological and economic model analysis

Physiological and behavioural responses of poultry exposed to gas-filled high expansion foam

Disease control measures require poultry to be killed on farms to minimise the risk of disease being transmitted to other poultry and, in some cases, to protect public health. We assessed the welfare implications for poultry of the use of high-expansion gas-filled foam as a potentially humane, emergency killing method. In laboratory trials, broiler chickens, adult . . . → Read More: Physiological and behavioural responses of poultry exposed to gas-filled high expansion foam

Physiological responses to low atmospheric pressure stunning and the implications for welfare

In low atmospheric pressure stunning (LAPS), poultry are rendered unconscious before slaughter by gradually reducing oxygen tension in the atmosphere to achieve a progressive anoxia.

The effects of LAPS are not instantaneous, so there are legitimate welfare concerns around the experience of birds before loss of consciousness. Using self-contained telemetry logging units, high-quality continuous electroencephalogram (EEG) and electrocardiogram (EKG) recordings were obtained from 28 broiler chickens during exposure to LAPS in a commercial poultry processing plant. Continue reading Physiological responses to low atmospheric pressure stunning and the implications for welfare

Multistage carbon dioxide gas stunning of broilers

The stunning quality of animals for slaughter remains under constant scrutiny. In response to previous research showing low stunning efficiency in poultry, the conventional water bath will be phased out in the Netherlands. Presently, the main practical alternative to water bath stunning of poultry is a 2-phased gas stunning method. Gas stunning methods are recognised . . . → Read More: Multistage carbon dioxide gas stunning of broilers

Mass depopulation of laying hens in whole barns with liquid carbon dioxide: evaluation of welfare impact

Appropriate emergency disaster preparedness is a key priority for agricultural agencies to allow effective response to serious avian disease outbreaks. There is a need to develop rapid, humane, and safe depopulation techniques for poultry that are widely applicable across a range of farm settings. Whole barn depopulation with carbon dioxide (CO(2)) has been investigated as a . . . → Read More: Mass depopulation of laying hens in whole barns with liquid carbon dioxide: evaluation of welfare impact