Humane destruction of livestock


During times of economic depression in the stock market or emergency, stockowners are faced with the difficult decisions of on-farm disposal of animals. Past examples have included:

  • when the livestock have no commercial value
  • on animal welfare grounds due to the devastating impacts of bushfires, storms, flooding or drought

To ensure that this destruction is conducted humanely, efficiently and safely these guidelines have been developed to assist.

Experienced operators, using the techniques described here, can safely deal with more than 1000 sheep or 300 cattle per day.

Topics in this Primefact include:

  • Options for the destruction and disposal of carcasses off-farm
  • General welfare considerations
  • Humane killing methods
  • Confirming death in livestock after humane killing
  • Recommended methods and procedures for humane killing of livestock
  • Species specific recommended methods and procedures for humane killing
  • Humane destruction of other stock


Primefact 310 Fourth Edition

Published: Sep 2018