COVID-19 virus outbreaks among slaughterhouse employees and inspectors have resulted in slaughter plant shutdowns and backlogs of slaughter-bound animals on farms. With nowhere for these animals to go, companies have resorted to depopulation, or mass killing of millions of animals on-farm, particularly pigs and chickens.
One method of depopulation being used is ventilation shutdown plus (VSD+). To kill chickens and pigs using VSD+, workers shut off barns’ ventilation systems with the animals sealed inside—commonly adding heat and/or steam—so the animals slowly die from overheating or suffocation.
The AVMA suggests VSD+ is only appropriate as a last resort in extraordinary circumstances involving urgency and severe infectious or zoonotic disease outbreak among animals.
The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) suggests VSD+ is only appropriate as a last resort in extraordinary circumstances involving urgency and severe infectious or zoonotic disease outbreak among animals. But the poultry and pork industries have been left to interpret the AVMA guidelines to justify this inhumane method of killing even for COVID-related animal backlogs where animals are perfectly healthy and companies have lead time to prepare.
As a veterinary professional (veterinarian, vet tech, or AVMA member), you have the power to influence the AVMA to classify VSD+ as “not recommended.”
- Sign the Veterinarians Against Ventilation Shutdown Petition now.
- Share the petition with your veterinary colleagues on social media.