SETION 3—HANDLING BEEF CATTLE
• Disease conditions where no eﬀective treatment is known(Johne’s disease in ruminants), prognosis is poor, or time toexpected recovery is unusually prolonged.• Animals suspected of having bovine spongiform encephalitis(BSE) where there may be a threat to human health. (eseanimals should not be killed by gunshot or other methods thatresult in head trauma that might cause excessive damage or lossof brain tissue. Instead, suspect animals should be attended toby a veterinarian who can properly euthanize the animal andobtain brain tissue for diagnostic purposes.)
dapted from Shearer and Nicoletti. Procedures for the humane euthanasiaf sick, injured, and/or debilitated livestock. University of Florida Extensionhttp://www.vetmed.uﬂ.edu/lacs/HumaneEuthanasia.htm
When conditions warrant euthanasia, the next considerationis method. Veterinarians can euthanize an animal with drugs thatepress the central nervous system; this would probably be thereferred method. However, in many circumstances on the farm,gunshot is the only practical method of euthanasia. is procedureequires the selection of an appropriate ﬁrearm and bullet withsuﬃ cient velocity, energy, and size to pass through the skull andnter the brain. A .22-caliber hollow- or soft-point bullet is suf-ﬁcient for young animals. However, larger adult animals requiret least a .22-magnum solid-point bullet or preferably a 9-mm or.357-caliber bullet.Proper placement is best achieved by holding the ﬁrearm withinfew inches of the intended target.
place the ﬁrearm against he head.
In cattle, the point of entry should be at the intersectionf two imaginary lines, each drawn from the inside corner of the ye to the base of the opposite horn (or slightly above the oppositear for polled cattle). As seen in Figure 3-3, this makes the point of ntry in the center of the forehead above the center of the eyes—
between the eyes.Euthanasia by the gunshot technique can result in involuntary ovement and occasionally vocalization that may be misinterpreteds painful by an inexperienced person. erefore, it is recommendedthat this procedure be performed out of the public view.
Proper Disposal of Dead Animals
attle that die of unknown causes should be taken to a diseasediagnostic laboratory for a postmortem analysis to determine pre-cautionary measures for good herd health. Some Kentucky countiesmay have dead animal pickup, or commercial companies may pickthem up for a fee. When animals must be buried on the farm, they should be buried according to KRS 257.160: 4 feet deep with theirbody cavity vented (opened), covered with at least 2 inches of quicklime, and back-ﬁlled with dirt. Composting dead animals is anotheralternative that is cost eﬀective, biosecure, and environmentally sound. It is regulated by 302 KAR 20:052 and can be used yearround after a permit is issued by the state veterinarian.
Design and Constructionof Handling Facilities
attle handling facilities are used to conﬁne cattle safely andeﬃ ciently for close observation and to perform routine health andmanagement procedures. Adequate facilities are an essential part of an eﬃ cient cattle operation for any producer who wants to improvemarketing, cattle health, and production. A well-planned handlingfacility can help you save money by making easier practices suchas preventive health management, pregnancy testing, implanting,controlling parasites, vaccinating, castrating, and dehorning.e most obvious positive impact of improved cattle handlingfacilities would probably be on an operation’s returns, includingsaved costs in labor. Most importantly, a good facility can preventinjuries to both workers and cattle. Safe handling also minimizesstress on cattle, which can reduce their weight and ability to ﬁghtdisease and cause performance problems. Stress can also lead tobruising and injuries, which are quality defects.e location of the facilities is critical. e most importantpoints in selecting a site for handling facilities are: (1) easy access; (2)access to water and electricity; (3) good drainage; (4) security andbiosecurity; (5) nearness to neighbors; and (6) future expansion.Normally one-eighth to one-half acre of land is needed for sitingworking facilities. Trucks and stock trailers must have easy access tothe facilities. An all-weather road is needed for accessibility underadverse weather conditions. A circular turning area is preferred tothe backing of trucks and trailers, which may require a turning areaof 130 to 150 feet in diameter. It is also desirable to locate facilitiesreasonably close to pastures for easy cattle movement.It is important that cattle have access to water before and afterthey are worked through the facility. Electricity is needed whenthe facility is located inside a building, in case you need work ortreat animals at night and want or need to track cattle performanceand store data.e site where you place the facilities must be well drainedto avoid mud and sanitation problems caused by standing water.Avoid steep slopes (> 5%) to minimize problems of water pollutioncaused by manure runoﬀ. e rough concrete ﬂoor in the squeezechute area can be sloped (1 to 2%) toward an open drainage ditchor runoﬀ storage pond outside the fences.
Not between the eyes!
—but above the eyes,as illustrated below.
Proper technique for humane euthanasia of cattle.