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The prototype of a low-cost mobile CO2 vaporizer system for on-site humane swine depopulation, disposal, and biosecure cleanup

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:  2021 ASABE Annual International Virtual Meeting  2100081.(doi:10.13031/aim.202100081)
Authors:   Jacek A. Koziel, Myeongseong Lee, Yuzhi Li
Keywords:   Humane depopulation, euthanasia, CO2, biosecure, vaporizer system

Abstract. The endemic (e.g., PRRSV) and currently circulating FDAs such as African swine fever (ASF) strains in Europe and Asia cause severe mortality (98%) in affected farms. There is no commercially available vaccine for ASF or treatment. Therefore, viable options are limited and favor implementing a "stamping out" policy where entire herds containing infected animals are depopulated. Implementing rapid and humane disposal procedures during a pandemic becomes a challenge. Thus, a rapid and humane depopulation system of on-farm swine is required. Carbon dioxide (CO2) is one of the euthanasia methods approved by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) for the humane depopulation of a large number of livestock. One practical recommendation made to the swine industry for humanely depopulating is to utilize enclosed dump-bed trucks or trailers as CO2 euthanasia chambers. This idea has been validated at North Carolina State University research team using relatively simple setups built from generally available hardware. However, the actual implementation of such prototypes is difficult in an emergency when there is no time to read a detailed recipe on how to euthanize pigs with relatively simple temporary tools even though there the scientific papers describe how to set up and use it on individual farms. Therefore, we proposed a design concept for a low-cost (less than $20K) mobile CO2 vaporizer system for rapid and humanely swine depopulation for a routine (single mobile unit) or a mass depopulation (fleet of mobile units) scenarios.

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