Xylazine sedation and gunshot for depopulation of cattle
A depopulation protocol utilizing intramuscular sedation with xylazine followed by euthanasia via gunshot was evaluated for effectiveness and practicality in a group of 43 feedlot calves in a commercial feedlot setting. Sedation and euthanasia were successful in all 43 calves. The time required to complete the procedure was 46 minutes from the first xylazine injection to the last gunshot. Utilization of this depopulation method demonstrates that cattle in a commercial feedlot can be euthanized in a rapid manner that is practical and efficient, while also maintaining an acceptable level of animal welfare. Expansion to larger herds, including the total population of a large feedlot, may still be challenging. The use of this depopulation method should be considered for future livestock emergencies.