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.
Between the Eyes! -but
above the eyes as illustrated
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
The site for penetrating captive bolt or gunshot placement in horned
goats is behind the poll as previously described for horned sheep
Click image to see animation:
site in horned goats or sheep
is behind the poll as shown
Not Between the Eyes!
-but slightly behind the poll
or on the top of the head
in llamas is on forehead
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.
swine, there are two options,
a frontal or a temporal site
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.
Not Between the Eyes! -but slightly
above intersection of lines as shown
on the correct use of
the captive bolt
Proper site in deer is
similar to that in cattle
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 its 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.