Please see http://vetmed.iastate.edu/HumaneEuthanasia for updated materials!
Proper positioning of the firearm or penetrating captive bolt is necessary to achieve the desired results. When euthanasia is performed by gunshot, the firearm should be held within a few inches of the intended target. Ricochet may be prevented if the barrel of the firearm is positioned perpendicular to the skull as shown in the diagram. In cattle, the point of entry of the projectile should be at the intersection of two imaginary lines, each drawn from the inside corner of the eye to the base of the opposite horn (or to a point slightly above the opposite ear in a cow without horns). As seen in the diagram below this places the recommended point of entry in the center of the forehead somewhat above a line drawn between the eyes.

Not Between the Eyes! -but
above the eyes as illustrated

Penetrating captive bolt or gunshot followed by immediate exsanguination are the preferred methods of euthanasia in sheep. For hornless sheep, goats and rams the recommended sites for placement of the gun or penetrating captive bolt include the top of the head or slightly behind the poll. Sheep should be exsanguinated within 10 seconds after stunning by penetrating captive bolt or they may regain consciousness. Exsanguination of cattle and sheep should be performed as described on Exsanguination section under Contents.


In horned sheep and rams the top of the head is not recommended because of the thickness of the skull in this region. Instead, the preferred position and orientation of penetrating captive bolt or gunshot are on a line starting from behind the poll and aimed in the direction of the animalís muzzle as shown in the figure below. An alternative position for placement of the stunning device is the front of the skull as shown in the figure. One must be careful to avoid ricochet by placing the firearm within inches of the intended target.

The site for penetrating captive bolt or gunshot placement in horned goats is behind the poll as previously described for horned sheep and rams.


Click image to see animation:

Proper site in horned goats or sheep
is behind the poll as shown

Again, Not Between the Eyes!
-but slightly behind the poll
or on the top of the head

Site in llamas is on forehead
as shown
For swine, there are two options: a frontal and a temporal site. Recommended placement of the penetrating captive bolt or gun for use of the frontal site is in the center of the forehead slightly above a line drawn between the eyes. Proper placement or aim of the euthanasia device is particularly important since the brain is relatively small and well protected by sinuses. An alternative site for gunshot (only) is the temporal region.
In swine, there are two options,
a frontal or a temporal site
Horses may be euthanized by gunshot or penetrating captive bolt. As described previously, use of the captive bolt requires good restraint so that the device may be held in close contact with the skull when fired. The site for entry of the projectile is described as a point slightly above the intersection of two diagonal lines each running from the inside corner of the eye to the base of the opposite ear. Note, that contrary to that described for cattle, the optimum site in the horse is slightly above the intersection of these two lines.
Again, Not Between the Eyes! -but slightly
above intersection of lines as shown
 
Demonstration/training on the correct use of
the captive bolt

Proper site in deer
is similar to that in cattle
The methods described for emergency euthanasia of deer are similar to those described previously for cattle and small ruminants.

 Recommended positions and direction for firing of a penetrating captive bolt or gunshot in deer are as shown.
Since deer requiring euthanasia may be encountered on farm or roadside conditions, it is important to consider the natural instincts of fear and anxiety of a farm-raised verses a wild animal. Approaching an injured wild deer will likely increase it’s distress causing it to attempt to flee which may only compound its misery. In general, whenever wildlife are involved in highway accidents, the best advice is to contact the appropriate State authorities (e.g. in Florida, The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission). Their personnel are properly trained to handle these emergencies.

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