The Use of a Non-Penetrating Captive Bolt for the Euthanasia of Neonate Piglets

Andrew Grist, JA Lines, Toby Knowles, Charlie Mason, Stephen Wotton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)
250 Downloads (Pure)


The most common method for the on-farm euthanasia of neonate piglets is reported to be manual blunt force trauma. This paper presents the results of research to evaluate a mechanical non-penetrating captive bolt (the Accles and Shelvoke CASH small animal tool, Birmingham, UK) to produce an immediate stun/kill with neonate piglets. One hundred and forty-seven piglets (average dead weight = 1.20 kg ± 0.58 (standard deviation, SD), mean age = 5.8 days (median = 3)) were euthanized with the device and demonstrated immediate loss of consciousness, subjectively assessed by behavioural signs and no recovery. The result that 147 out of 147 animals were effectively stun/killed gives a 95% confidence interval for the true percentage of animals that would be effectively stun/killed of 97.5–100% with the use of the CASH small animal tool under the conditions of the current study. This research concludes that the CASH small animal tool, using a 1 grain brown coded cartridge, is suitable for producing a stun/kill in neonate piglets when applied in a frontal/parietal position.
Original languageEnglish
Article number48
Number of pages17
Issue number4
Early online date2 Apr 2018
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2018


  • animal welfare
  • euthanasia
  • livestock
  • mechanical killing
  • on-farm killing
  • neonate piglets

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