Safety and humane killing of animals

Humanely killing animals can be associated with a number of different safety hazards, but the risk to individuals can be greatly reduced by following appropriate procedures, and ensuring that a local risk assessment has been conducted.

When killing animals with an overdose of volatile anaesthetic, exposure of personnel to volatile anaesthetic vapour must be avoided because of health and safety concerns. This can be achieved either by using active scavenging equipment that removes waste gas or by carrying out the procedure in a safety cabinet, with venting of the extract outside the building.

Spilling large quantities of volatile anaesthetic (e.g. by dropping a bottle of the agent) represents a significant safety hazard. If this occurs, it is important to leave the room immediately, prevent anyone else from entering, and then following locally agreed procedures to control the spillage. In a well-ventilated room, simply leave the room unoccupied with the door closed and wait a few hours for the anaesthetic to evaporate and the vapour to disperse.

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Updated on 16th June 2021

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