Code of Practice

How to euthanase | back

  1. How to euthanase
    1. Objective
      1. To support the timely euthanasia of sick, injured or orphaned wildlife by identifying who may perform euthanasia and what methods may be applied.
    2. Standards
      1. Methods of euthanasia, including methods of restraint for euthanasia, must not cause significant pain, suffering or distress.
      2. Death must be confirmed prior to the disposal of the carcass.
      3. Euthanasia by barbiturate overdose must only be performed by a veterinary surgeon or a competent and appropriately trained person authorised by the chief executive of Queensland Health to possess and use restricted drugs for veterinary purposes.
      4. If euthanasia via intracardiac or intrathoracic (as opposed to intravenous) barbiturate overdose is performed then the animal must be fully anesthetised prior to performing the procedure.
      5. The following euthanasia methods must not be used on wildlife:
        1. suffocating via drowning, strangulation or chest compression
        2. freezing
        3. burning
        4. poisoning with household products
        5. air embolism
        6. exsanguination or decapitation without stunning
        7. electrocution or microwave irradiation
        8. poisoning with any domestic or agricultural pest control agent, chemical or noxious agent not currently approved for the veterinary euthanasia of domestic animals.
    3. Guidelines
      1. Animals should be euthanased by barbiturate overdose while under general anaesthesia administered by a veterinary surgeon or an appropriately trained person authorised by the chief executive of Queensland Health to possess and use restricted drugs for veterinary purposes.
      2. When it is not practicable to perform euthanasia using barbiturate overdose a method appropriate for the species that causes minimal pain and suffering should be used. This may include the following methods:
        1. Large animals shot with a rifle of a calibre sufficient to achieve instantaneous insensibility followed by the rapid death of the animal without first regaining sensation or consciousness. In effect, the technique must destroy the brain.

          Note: The use of a firearm for the euthanasia of wildlife must comply with the Weapons Act 1990.
        2. Cranial trauma sufficient to cause instantaneous insensibility followed by the rapid death of the animal without first regaining sensation or consciousness. In effect, the technique must destroy the brain

          Note: The brain of reptiles is very small in comparison with their head size, and well protected by the bones and soft tissues of the head. Cranial trauma techniques used on reptiles must cause instantaneous and complete destruction of the brain.

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