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US poultry face slow inhumane death by suffocation

Close up of turkey in pasture

Earlier this month, thousands of bird flu-infected turkeys, in the US state of Indiana, were cruelly killed when ventilation to their barns was deliberately switched off, leaving the birds to die slowly and in distress.

The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) approved this method of killing last September, following pressure to control an outbreak of avian influenza. This means the deliberate shutdown of ventilation in poultry houses can now be used to kill infected birds.

Substantial suffering

This practice causes birds to die slowly of suffocation or organ failure, due to overheating, during a 30 - 40 minute period, as airflow comes to a standstill. There is no doubt that this causes substantial suffering and distress to these sentient animals.

The avian influenza epidemic has already caused immense misery to birds and does not need to be exacerbated by this barbaric method of euthanasia. More humane practices exist, as recommended by the international standards set by the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), which the US has agreed to.

Take action

Please support Compassion USA by urging Dr. John Clifford, USDA Deputy Administrator of Veterinary Services, to prohibit the use of ventilation shutdown as an acceptable method of euthanasia.