Introduction to Gun Use
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List some relevant welfare legislation
- Protection of Animal at the Time of Killing (PATOK) (EC) No 1099/2009
- Welfare of Animals at the Time of Killing 2012 (WATOK)
- Council Regulation (EC) No 1/2205 on the protection of animals during transport and related operations
- The Animal Welfare Act 2006
- The Protection of Animals Act 1911
- The Animal Heath Act 1981
- The Veterinary Surgeons Act 1966
- The Firearms (Amendment) Act 1997
What are the two methods of mechanical stunning?
- Free bullet guns
- Captive bolt pistols
What species are free bullet guns good for?
How far off the animals head must you hold a shotgun?
How does a shotgun work?
It creates a small entry wound but disperses in the brain and kills the animal
True or false: as a vet you need a licence to use a shotgun?
True - only licensed to use a captive bolt pistol
Can you kill an animal with a captive bolt?
No - they are only humane stunners
What type of cartridges are used in captive bolt pistols?
What is meant by percussion?
To make the animal unconscious by administering a severe blow to the skull of the animal. This may not kill the animal.
What are the different positions for a captive bolt in animals? Horse, cow, sheep/goat, horned sheep/goat, pig?
- Horse - just above or centre of X drawn between base of ears and lateral canthus of eye
- Cow - centre of X drawn between base of horns and lateral canthus of eye
- Sheep/goat - highest point of head
- Horned sheep/goat - behind horns
- Pig - centre of line drawn between eyes
What is pithing?
When you introduce a plastic rod into the entry wound created by the captive bolt and destroy the brainstem to prevent the animal returning to consciousness
Why is pithing not used in animals meant for human/animal consumption?
It introduces bacteria and has been associated with BSE contamination
What are the signs of an effective stun?
- No rhythmic breathing
- A fixed glazed expression
- No corneal reflex
- A relaxed jaw
- Tongue hanging out
What are the two phases that occur after stunning?
Tonic and clonic phases
What happens in the tonic phase? How long does it last?
- Animal collapses, stops breathing, becomes rigid, head extended/hind limbs flexed, forelegs gradually straighten out, no eye reflex
What happens in the clonic phase?
What is sticking?
Sever major blood vessels to promote quick blood loss (death)
When should sticking occur in a) cattle b) sheep and goats c) pigs?
- a) 1 min
- b) 15 seconds
- c) As soon as you can
How long should you wait after pithing to dress/ES the carcase in a) cattle b) sheep, goats, pigs and deer?
- a) 30 seconds
- b) 20 seconds
What are the other methods of stunning?
Electrical and gas
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