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1 March 2010 Comparison of Water-Based Foam and Inert-Gas Mass Emergency Depopulation Methods
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Current control strategies for avian influenza (AI) and other highly contagious poultry diseases include surveillance, quarantine, depopulation, disposal, and decontamination. Selection of the best method of emergency mass depopulation involves maximizing human health and safety while minimizing disease spread and animal welfare concerns. Proper selection must ensure that the method is compatible with the species, age, housing type, and disposal options. No one single method is appropriate for all situations. Gassing is one of the accepted methods for euthanatizing poultry. Whole-house, partial-house, or containerized gassing procedures are currently used. The use of water-based foam was developed for emergency mass depopulation and was conditionally approved by the United States Department of Agriculture in 2006. Research has been done comparing these different methods; parameters such as time to brain death, consistency of time to brain death, and pretreatment and posttreatment corticosterone stress levels were considered. In Europe, the use of foam with carbon dioxide is preferred over conventional water-based foam. A recent experiment comparing CO2 gas, foam with CO2 gas, and foam without CO2 gas depopulation methods was conducted with the use of electroencephalometry results. Foam was as consistent as CO2 gassing and more consistent than argon-CO2 gassing. There were no statistically significant differences between foam methods.

R. L. Alphin, M. K. Rankin, K. J. Johnson, and E. R. Benson "Comparison of Water-Based Foam and Inert-Gas Mass Emergency Depopulation Methods," Avian Diseases 54(s1), 757-762, (1 March 2010).
Received: 11 April 2009; Accepted: 1 July 2009; Published: 1 March 2010

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