Most Humane Culling Procedure?

aburningflame

New Member
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129
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Canada
First off, I dont want to hear your opinions on right or wrong.
I strongly believe in not affecting the gene pool - and you are not gonna change that.

So, as far as im concerned the most humane culling procedure is a fridge to comatose and then a freezer after the coma.

Is this the most humane way?

I know this is the darker section of breeding - i NEVER want to have to do this...but I do believe in euthanasia

Please let me know.

Thanks
 

Tony C

Wayward Frogger
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Columbia, SC
I feed hatchlings to my bearded dragons. Larger juveniles, or adults if I ever need to, go in a CO2 chamber then to the freezer.
 

aburningflame

New Member
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129
Location
Canada
Thank you Tony.
I have researched and watched videos on youtube and Ive come to the conclusion that a CO2 chamber is the most humane.

Not a fan of putting a leo into my freezer - will a prolonged stay in a co2 chamber work? e.g 20mins of constant CO2?


I hope i NEVER have to euthanize an animal, but i would like to be prepared should the need ever arise.
 

Tony C

Wayward Frogger
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Columbia, SC
I don't remember how long mine took, only had to do CO2 once. I left him in for a while though, then in to the freezer to be sure .
 

M_surinamensis

Shillelagh Law
Messages
1,166
Not a fan of putting a leo into my freezer - will a prolonged stay in a co2 chamber work? e.g 20mins of constant CO2?
That'd depend on the CO2 ratio in the chamber and the animal in question. It can be tricky with herps because they have fairly low oxygen requirements and a slow rate of respiration. It is not exactly uncommon for home-jobs to chamber an animal for a time, only to remove it when it has stopped moving and have it revive.

My only advice on that score... leave it in the chamber until all activity has ceased and then keep it in there for a good half an hour or more afterwards, unless you're absolutely certain that your CO2 chamber is going to have almost pure carbon dioxide in it. Or if you're actually using carbon monoxide, in which case be careful. Leaving the animal in the CO2 chamber ensures that it has been euthanized, rather than simply asphyxiated and then allowed to revive- something that is counter to the idea of ending pain.

I'm going to copy and paste my response to a similar topic on another forum. I apologize for any weird contextual errors in areas where I was more specifically responding to a post that is not here, hopefully they can be identified and understood for what they are.

What I am about to post runs directly counter to AVA approved methods and thoughts on the subject, I'll happily debate it or explain my position but if anyone is on the fence on the subject they should bear in mind that veterinary professionals as a group disagree with me.

The thread this was posted on raised the question of how much of a factor convenience was when choosing the method of euthanasia.

When euthanizing an animal... any animal... I choose the method which is most convenient for me. I never go out of my way to be cruel of course, nor do I enojoy watching an animal suffer... so the most convenient method will always be legal and in some manner humane. However this does mean that when euthanizing rodents for use as feeders, I won't go to the effort of setting up a CO2 chamber... When euthanizing a fish or herp, I'm not going to pay a vet a few hundred bucks to put it down with a chemical injection and if the time ever comes when I have to euthanize a terrestrial invert, I will likely just step on it.

That being said however... Freezing is not a humane way of euthanizing *some* animals. Humans, in our conceit, tend to classify and categorize everything using our own terms, our own experiences and our own biology. It's why anthropomorphism is so rampant- the majority are truly unable to value something without forcing it into human terms. Freezing is supposedly a painless way for a human being to die... I have never tried it, so this is not firsthand experience but the brain apparantly shuts down physical sensation after a point and a sort of comatose sleep occurs prior to death. There is evidence which strongly suggests this is NOT the case in many other animals (including other mammals) and that consciousness will remain until death sets in... slowly, as the flesh progressively freezes and dies.

I truly love reptiles, amphibians, fish, inverts and even some other mammals- but I do not value them as highly as I value humans. If forced with a choice between the lives of long term pets that I have kept for decades and come to regard as being an intrinsic part of my life or an anonymous stranger, the human wins every time... I say this to explain that I do put a lesser importance on the potential for suffering. I also firmly believe that many animals do not HAVE the same potential for suffering that has been shown to exist in mammals and birds. A reptile has no concept of self awareness, no ability to conceptualize abstracts such as the future... Much of the suffering from a human standpoint comes from worried anticipation, we worry about shutting off the brain, the "self" rather than physical damage. While a reptile certainly has instincts for self preservation and CAN feel pain, evidence strongly suggests (The evidence i choose to believe anyway) that pain is merely used as an indicator of physical damage, which can sometimes trigger an instinctive response if there is a present and obvious cause but otherwise... Well, we're all aware that a herp will sit on a hot rock while it's flesh cauterizes and the burns even go so far as to penetrate the body cavity, which certainly seems to mean something about what the brain of a herp does or does not do with certain sensory information.

So... I have put animals in the freezer in the past as a way to euthanize them... I likely will again in the future if it's the most convenient of avaliable options even though it is never my first choice when presented with a range of choices. Frankly I preffer to break the neck or dislocate the spinal cord when given the option but there are some species where I simply do not know enough about the way the skeleton is structured to make this safe or easy. I know how to snap a rat's neck and the animal is dead before it has a chance to understand what's happening... I can't say the same about most lizards... Certainly enough force could easily be applied to a gecko to make it something of a moot point... Can the same be said for an adult tegu or monitor? Would pulling or twisting be more effective for a snake? Does angling the grip help or should it be a straight movement? If I screw it up and merely paralyze it, is it okay for me to put it into the freezer?
And a followup post of mine-

This is drifting back towards my argument made on page one so I think I'll chime in a bit once more...

As I said, I have frozen reptiles in the past and likely will again in the future should occassion arise when I feel it's appropriate. I do so because it's the quickest method for many which I am certain will cause death- as I said, I have no idea how to best go about disloacting the spinal column from the brain for most species and wouldn't care to attempt it in that the idea of euthanization is to end suffering or cull and it's not something I find myself doing frequently enough to find it worth practicing.

I also noted that evidence strongly suggests that consciousness remains during the freezing process up to a point for herps but that brings up a really big question... What exactly is consciousness? As Darin noted it can be very difficult to determine if a reptile is even ALIVE given certain standards at certain points (c'mon now, for all of you who have dealt with large numbers in a resale/import situation, how many of you have had to poke something to see if it was alive? I know I have and I'd like to think I've got a better grasp than most) but further it leads to questions about how we define pain.

This is going to be a lot of conjecture on my part, it's an opinion and a really poorly formed hypothesis and all my evidence is pretty circumstantial, if you want to debate it, please feel free but bear in mind that I'm not going to be married to the following statements and might just stop arguing because it no longer interests me to continue...

I submit that pain is merely sensory information, what any given organism DOES with pain is more important than the condition of pain existing. For organisms which can be said to be sentient (if not always very bright) and have self awareness, there is an emotion associated with the physical sensation, that is SELF which is being damaged, it's frightening, it raises doubt about the future it's a major issue... For organisms which are not self aware, it's pure sensory imput with no more meaning than visual stimulus or scent. It *might* trigger a behavioral response if a cause is immediate and the survival instincts have developed one. Meaning if a response to the sensory information was appropriate and animals which developed it ended up forming a larger part of the breeding population, in example, something bites a reptile, escape is a successful response, animals which escaped survived, the instinctive response grew stronger and more dominant within the population. For situations outside such immediate sensory information or where no instinctive response could be developed, the pain is meaningless. As an example... most reptiles equate heat with light intensity to some degree (some don't of course) and will thermoregulate based on light intensity rather than temperature, such as a bearded dragon basking under a flourescent light, even though an area with heat tape under it in the dark is warmer... Given a removal of the associated conditions (light) a diurnal species will burn itself to the point of death on a hotrock or malfunctioning chunk of flexxwatt and not express ANY noticeable response to the sensory information (when the gut is cauterizing, I think it's safe to assume it causes pain). There is nothing in the behavioral pattern which can identify the proper response to end the sensory information so the animal cooks.

I'd place freezing to death in a similar category, it may cause pain, but given a basic premise of non-self awareness (another debate if it's a point of contention) and no instinctive response towards the pain information, it's meaningless pain because it doesn't cause any distress. Yes, this means I'm arguing that it's okay to cause pain IF it can be reasonabaly believed that the pain is not understood. I think I explained what I meant fairly well, but if there's someone who wants clarification, I'll certainly try to explain it better if it'll cut down on the hate mail.
That last line still applies, even six years after I wrote the original post.

Take it for what you will, but please keep in mind that these are simply my thoughts and opinions on the matter and, on this subject at least, I am not offering them as definitive facts or an ethical imperative.
 

Kristi23

Ghoulish Geckos
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16,181
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IL
I use the fridge to freezer method. It's the easiest for me and it seems to work fine. I keep them in the fridge for a couple hours before moving them to the freezer. It never gets easier for me though. I feel horrible everytime I do it, but I know it's the right thing to do.
 

aburningflame

New Member
Messages
129
Location
Canada
thanks for the info. ive decided on CO2 then freezer should hte need ever arise

i really hope it doesnt - terrible thing to have to do

thanks guys!
 

Northstar Herp

Rhacs and Uros, oh boy!!!
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Maybe I'll be alone in this, but what about decapitation? Yeah, go ahead and grimace, but it seems to me that it would be the quickest and most decisive way to end a herp. I'm primarily thinking about geckos here, not big stuff like monitors and tegus or retics. Speed and accuracy might be difficult with an animal so large.

And before anybody calls me a horrible person and an animal hater, remember that EVERYBODY claims to be so concerned about dispatching an animal, should the need arise, in the quickest way possible. The shudder most people feel when they read the preceding probably had more to do with themselves than the animal in question.
 

JordanAng420

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Miami, FL
Maybe I'll be alone in this, but what about decapitation? Yeah, go ahead and grimace, but it seems to me that it would be the quickest and most decisive way to end a herp. I'm primarily thinking about geckos here, not big stuff like monitors and tegus or retics. Speed and accuracy might be difficult with an animal so large.

And before anybody calls me a horrible person and an animal hater, remember that EVERYBODY claims to be so concerned about dispatching an animal, should the need arise, in the quickest way possible. The shudder most people feel when they read the preceding probably had more to do with themselves than the animal in question.
For the record, I used to euthanize beardies for an herp vet I used to work for all the time with this method. I was careful not to let other curious people watch me, and I can assure you it is a very quick procedure. However, it's not something that should be done by someone who doesn't know the neuro-effects it has on both the head and the body afterwards.
 

thegeckoguy23

New Member
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2,231
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goffstown NH
Yeah Jack I think that would be a great way if your okay with that sorrta stuff. I am but honstly i have only had to cull one gecko and i used the freezer method I know all you guys well be going wth but its best for me.




Jake
 

Northstar Herp

Rhacs and Uros, oh boy!!!
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Plaistow, NH
For the record, I used to euthanize beardies for an herp vet I used to work for all the time with this method. I was careful not to let other curious people watch me, and I can assure you it is a very quick procedure. However, it's not something that should be done by someone who doesn't know the neuro-effects it has on both the head and the body afterwards.
So what are the neurological affects? I've read something about this in a rant post on another forum, but don't know much about it.
 

M_surinamensis

Shillelagh Law
Messages
1,166
Maybe I'll be alone in this, but what about decapitation?
Because of the low oxygen requirements, brain activity can be sustained for a few minutes after decapitation... so if you are going to go that route and use physical trauma, you'd be better off destroying the brain rather than just removing the head.

I personally would be disinclined to for three reasons.

The first is simply that it is messy. It would be bloody. There would be fluids and spraying and stains.

The second is that reptiles clearly do feel pain from cuts, crushing damage, broken limbs and so on. The response is obvious- although the more cleanly you could do it, the shorter the length of time they would be feeling it. Much like with dislocating the spinal column of a rodent that is going to be used as a prey item- a fast, immediate shock that leads directly to death. Although if you miss... well, you'd be causing a great deal of painful damage that a reptile does respond to.

The third is because as much as I am not particularly squeamish and am fully capable of intellectualizing the reasons behind the decision and the choice of method, other people would be less inclined to understand it dispassionately. It would evoke a visceral emotional response in anyone who witnessed or heard about it. Your family, your neighbors... your local animal control officers who enforce cruelty laws, the general public who hear about the story on the news when you're charged with abuse... It doesn't sound reasonable and it is a sufficiently violent act that few people would be able to rationalize it in the same manner that you have.
 

Northstar Herp

Rhacs and Uros, oh boy!!!
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Plaistow, NH
I hear ya, especially on the third one.

Point two I think would be lessened by the way you did it, more like a chef and a carrot instead of chopping wood.

Point one, I'm not worried about. I grew up on a farm and saw all kinds of stuff from early on.

Point zero though (low oxygen requirements causing prolonged pain), is the one that I've heard somewhere else before. I wonder how the freezer method stacks up against decapitation in that area? I mean, with this point in mind, would the brain stay active longer with the head detached or in the freezer?
 

JordanAng420

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Miami, FL
Point zero though (low oxygen requirements causing prolonged pain), is the one that I've heard somewhere else before. I wonder how the freezer method stacks up against decapitation in that area? I mean, with this point in mind, would the brain stay active longer with the head detached or in the freezer?
Good point, I have no idea to be honest, and i'm curious to know the answer. If I find it, i'll let ya know! :)
 

M_surinamensis

Shillelagh Law
Messages
1,166
I mean, with this point in mind, would the brain stay active longer with the head detached or in the freezer?
It would stay active and aware longer in the freezer.

The question becomes one of what the animal is aware of during that time though- brain activity after decapitation would be a much shorter time frame but whatever awareness the animal has left would leave it... well, with the feeling that its body has just been cut away. It would potentially* mean a couple minutes of intense pain.

Reptiles don't respond the same way to tissue damaged caused by temperature extremes. It does not seem to register the same way, or at least it does not provoke similar pain responses. So they would be conscious for longer when placed in a home freezer but there exists a possibility that they would not be experiencing pain for the duration. Although that is... debatable, I addressed my thoughts on the matter in my response on page one, the second portion marked as a quote.

*brain activity after decapitation is by no means guaranteed, it is possible but not really common.
 

T-ReXx

Uroplatus Fanatic
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1,745
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Buffalo, NY
For hatchlings, I've always just fed them to something else. The Circle of Life and all that. For larger animals, I use injectable anesthetic overdose, but then I work in a vet clinic and have access to such thing readily. For the average hobbyist, if going through a vet is too expensive/complicated, I think the freezer method is probably the best way to go.
 

Keith N

New Member
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774
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Lottsburg, VA.
May seem a little more savage but smaller animals we cinder block crush them. One fail flat surface to surface straight down on each other, It lasts 1 second and over. We are out in the country so some of you cant just go out on your balcony or driveway and do it. My son always "talks" to them before we take them and he understands and knows the world of genetics seeing how we work with other barnyard animals and afterwards we mix into the compost bin. We also have a pair of Tokay's coming so maybe we can feed them to them now.
 
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tlbowling

Geck~OCD
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1,758
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NJ
May seem a little more savage but smaller animals we cinder block crush them. One fail flat surface to surface straight down on each other, It lasts 1 second and over. We are out in the country so some of you cant just go out on your balcony or driveway and do it. My son always "talks" to them before we take them and he understands and knows the world of genetics seeing how we work with other barnyard animals and afterwards we mix into the compost bin. We also have a pair of Tokay's coming so maybe we can feed them to them now.
And just how do you go about cleaning up after that?
 
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