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04 May 2006

Compassion in World Farming Limited

Tel: +44 (0) 1730 233 904

+44 (0) 7771 926 005

Fax: +44 (0) 1730 260 791



Compassion in World Farming (CIWF) has learned that the Welfare of Animals (Slaughter and

Killing) Regulations 1995 have been amended under emergency procedure, giving the

Secretary of State emergency powers to authorise ventilation shutdown as a method of

culling poultry in the event of an outbreak of Avian Influenza.

This emergency procedure to control an avian influenza outbreak announced by DEFRA

involves sealing all apertures on poultry sheds, then shutting down the ventilation system and

leaving the birds to die slowly through oxygen depletion, overheating and the effects of Avian


DEFRA has stated that this method of culling would only be employed as a last resort.

However, ventilation shutdown is not one of the methods recognised for disease control by

the OIE (World Animal Health Organization) guidelines. This method appears to breach these

internationally agreed guidelines, by failing to ensure induction of unconsciousness is

immediate: it also fails to avoid anxiety, pain, distress and suffering.

Philip Lymbery CIWFs Chief Executive said: Compassion in World Farming believes that

death through ventilation shutdown is likely to be protracted and cause terrible suffering.

It is possible that many birds will die in shocking circumstances, and we could be faced with

scenes in which piles of dead birds culled in this fashion become a common sight 

comparable to the shocking scenes at the height of the Foot and Mouth Disease crisis.

We believe that this method is potentially so inhumane that it should not be used even as a

last resort.



For further information contact:

General press enquiries, images: Laurence Stephenson +44 (0)1730 237360

or +44 (0)7771 926005

Technical and policy comment: Dr Lesley Lambert +44 (0) 7881 658733

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