Two CO2 anaesthesia devices tested 'safe'
Two newly developed anaesthesia devices using a
mixture of CO2 and O2 are safe for the use on newborn piglets prior to
castration. That conclusion was drawn by researchers of the Animal Sciences
Group at the Dutch Wageningen University and Research Centre
"The results of the safety experiment
showed that the conventional piglets used in the experiments, varying from three
to eight days of age, could safely be exposed to a mixture of 70% CO2 and 30% O2
for two minutes," the researchers concluded in their report
"During the experiments in a well ventilated
room (i.e. farrowing unit), measurements of the CO2-concentration in the
vicinity of the user were not above legal limits.
"In this project, two
anaesthetising devices have been developed that meet the technical and practical
criteria formulated by researchers and pig farmers. The expectation is that
these devices can be integrated effectively into Dutch husbandry
The need for piglet anaesthesia came
up in the Netherlands now a countrywide agreement has been reached on the pork
sale. As from March 1, no Dutch supermarket will sell meat that comes from
piglets that have been castrated without anaesthesia.
Last year, the
Animal Sciences Group investigated the possibilities of using CO2 gas
anaesthesia during castration for piglets. Despite an outcome pointing in the
direction of a mixture of 70% CO2 en 30% O2, leading to full unconsciousness and
complete analgesia, further research needed to be carried out:
Determining the safety margins and mode of operation to develop a safe
administration of CO2 and O2 for man and animal (safety experiment)
Transforming these results into an anaesthetising device that can be used at a
pig farm and is simple and safe in use (development of an anaesthetising
Two Dutch companies have prepared a machine that is related to
this solution, Schippers (Bladel) and NAM (Amsterdam).
University and Research Center (WUR)
• Animal Sciences Group (ASG)
Click here for
the free Pig Progress newsletter
To comment, login here
Or register to be able to comment.