<%@LANGUAGE="JavaScript1.3"%> Swine Production Management - Transport - Captive Bolt Euthanasia
Swine Production Management - Transport

Useful Transportation Guidelines:

Captive Bolt Euthanasia















Animal Restraint
  1. The animal in question should be moved to a small, secure area where it can be restrained by a snare and not able to escape.
  2. There should always be two people present, one to secure and hold the animal and one to operate the captive bolt gun.
  3. Under no circumstance should any person operate or handle the captive bolt pistol unless they hold a police firearms certificate (humane certificate).
  4. Always point the gun away from people and when loaded point at the floor only. Only load the gun after the animal has been secured.
  5. It is imperative that both the operatives and the animal should be on a sound, dry floor covered in either straw, shavings or similar material to prevent slipping which could lead to an accident during the use of the captive bolt gun.


  1. The operator should be unhurried, gentle and patient. The pig should be restrained with a wire noose or rope around its upper jaw, with the assistant holding the snare standing in front of the pig and thus behind the operator with the gun. Under no circumstances must the animal be restrained by the operator with the captive bolt, nor should the animal be restrained by the ear. Under no circumstances must any person be in front of the captive bolt during the shooting.
  2. Once secured the captive bolt may be loaded with the cartridge and the bolt cocked. Under no circumstances should the gun be loaded with the cartridge and the bolt cocked prior to the animal being secured. Keep your finger off the trigger until you are aiming at the target.


The site of shooting is on the mid-line of the forehead, one finger's width above eye level, and the muzzle of the pistol should be placed against the head and directed towards the brain. As shown:

  1. Pigs larger than 110 kg should be either pithed or bled out. Bled out by making a deep cut on the neck from ear to ear with a sharp knife to sever all the major blood vessels.
  2. If a gun fails to fire when the trigger is pulled, keep it pointed at the target for at least 30 seconds. Sometimes slow primary ignition will cause a hang-fire and the cartridge will go off after a short pause.

  3. Once the shooting is completed unload the gun, pointing the gun at the ground test fire without a cartridge in the breach.

After use

  1. Before dismantling the gun ensure the gun is unloaded. Always clean and maintain the gun after use.
  2. Never leave the gun unattended.

  3. Upon return the gun and gun box must be cleaned. All knives used in the euthanasia process cleaned and disposable blades disposed in a Sharps Bin. The empty cartridge should be thrown away.

  4. The pithing rod must be cleaned and disinfected.

  5. The pistol should be returned to the designated safe where it should be kept in a locked cabinet.

  6. All members of staff who are licensed and authorized to use the captive bolt pistol will attend a training session prior to the individual being allowed to use the captive bolt.

Checklist for safe operation of a captive bolt gun

  1. Only used by licensed operators.
  2. Never point the captive bolt gun at people.
  3. Never leave the captive bolt unattended.
  4. Take pig to a secure area.
  5. Have two people present.
  6. Restrain pig by snare. Holder of snare behind operator with captive bolt.
  7. Load captive bolt. Keep captive bolt pointed towards the ground.
  8. Shoot pig - > 100 kg bleed out or pith.
  9. Clean and maintain captive bolt.
  10. Return captive bolt to locked gun cupboard.