Welfare Implications of the Gas Stunning of Pigs 2. Stress of Induction of Anaesthesia

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Abstract:

The severity of respiratory distress occurring prior to loss of posture during exposure to: 20, 30, 40, 50, 60, 70, 80 or 90 per cent carbon dioxide in air; 2 or 5 per cent residual oxygen in argon; 30 per cent carbon dioxide in argon with either 2 or 5 per cent residual oxygen; or 40 per cent carbon dioxide in argon with either 2 or 5 per cent residual oxygen, was subjectively determined in pigs from their behaviour. The results indicated that exposure to 2 per cent oxygen in argon (anoxia) induced minimal respiratory distress, 30 per cent carbon dioxide in argon with 2 per cent residual oxygen induced a moderate distress and exposure to all the concentrations of carbon dioxide in air induced severe respiratory distress in the pigs. From the animal welfare point of view, using 2 per cent oxygen in argon (anoxia) appears to be the optimum choice for gas stunning pigs. Secondly, a mixture of 30 per cent carbon dioxide in argon with 2 per cent residual oxygen is preferred to 90 per cent carbon dioxide in air.

Keywords: ANIMAL WELFARE; ARGON; AVERSION; CARBON DIOXIDE; INHALATION; PIGS; STUNNING

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: February 1, 1996

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