This sub-page focuses on priority area 3. Stunning and killing. 

The EURCAW-Poultry-SFA initiated in January 2023 an activity aiming at making recommendations on the type of on-farm killing methods to deploy to ensure the most humane and effective depopulation. These recommendations will be tailored to the characteristics of the farm (e.g., housing system) and birds (e.g., species) infected by the disease to ensure their relevance.


Specific objectives have been defined to achieve this overarching goal:  

  • O1: The inventory of the depopulation methods (O1a) and procedures (O1b) used across the EU since 2018. Here, we use the term procedures to refer to existing variations, on site, in the implementation of a specific method. O1 will allow the Centre to identify the most commonly-used methods in the EU, together with their most common procedures. 
  • O2: The assessment of the effectiveness and welfare consequences of the most used methods and procedures in multiple depopulation contexts (farm characteristics x birds characteristics). O2 will allow the EURCAW-Poultry-SFA to determine:  
  1. - The most humane and efficient procedure for each method in a specific context (O2a: within-method comparison
  2. - In a specific context, the most suitable depopulation method and procedure to be used (O2b: between-methods comparison)  
  • O3: The suggestion of existing or innovative practical solutions to tackle the welfare issues associated with each method. à O3 will allow the Centre to propose “good-practices” for different depopulation methods, based on the procedures selected as most humane per depopulation context. 


Concretely, this work will translate into two deliverables:

  • - guidance about the selection of the depopulation procedure according to the specific features of the targeted farm,
  • - suggestions for assessment methods of poultry welfare during depopulation procedures. 

This area will be updated regularly with review documents and thematic factsheets summarizing the latest scientific and practical knowledge concerning the four prioritized welfare areas. The number of available items will increase over time.