Secondary Pentobarbital Poisoning of Wildlife - Veterinary Clinical ...

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Secondary Pentobarbital Poisoning of Wildlife - Veterinary Clinical ...

veterinarian and the client.Small animal practices and humane shelters that lack on-site cremation facilitiesand therefore contract out to third parties for carcass removal should be sure toemploy a reputable, licensed disposal company.3. Alternate Euthanasia Methods for Free-ranging WildlifeEuthanasia methods such as gunshot or penetrating captive bolt have been usedon free-ranging wildlife by specially trained personnel in cases where burial orother methods of disposal were unavailable. While pentobarbital injection isgenerally the preferred method of humane euthanasia, there are some instancesinvolving field euthanasia of wildlife by lawenforcement or other wildlife professionals in whichthe carcass must be left exposed in the field (e.g. whenfrozen ground prevents burial). According to theAVMA Panel on Euthanasia 1 , in these situations “...agunshot to the head, penetrating captive bolt, orinjectable agents that are non-toxic (potassiumchloride in combination with a non-toxic generalBald eagle perched on carcass bagsat dump. Photo courtesy of Dr.Dick Stroud, USFWS (photographerunknown).anesthetic) should be used so that the potential forscavenger or predator toxicity is lessened.” While adiscussion of these alternate methods is beyond thescope of this fact sheet, it must be emphasized thatthey are last resort procedures restricted to use bytrained, authorized personnel, where no other options are available.1 2000 Report of the AVMA Panel on Euthanasia. J Am Vet Med Assoc 2001; 218: 669-696.Who Can be Contacted for Further Information on Secondary PentobarbitalPoisoning?1. For information on medical treatment of poisoning victims, the National AnimalPoison Control Center of the ASPCA runs a fee-based service for emergencies and othercases: 1-888-426-4435 (1-888-4ANIHELP).2. To determine whether a case falls under USFWS jurisdiction, for information on lawenforcement and liability issues, or if you have found a dead animal, contact yourregional US Fish and Wildlife Service Law Enforcement Office and visit the USFWS website at www.fws.gov. Regional Law Enforcement Office information is listed below.7

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