Frequently asked question.

On what species can the HEFT system be applied?

The HEFT systems can be applied to all pigs and poultry.

For what situations and when can the HEFT systems be used?

The HEFT on-farm systems are designed for use as a first-response solution for animals requiring euthanasia due to illness, injury, or other non-viable conditions in daily production. These systems are capable of processing single animals or groups.

The HEFT emergency response system is intended for deployment to specific locations to handle larger groups of animals. It is utilized in scenarios such as depopulating an infected flock, preventing disease transmission, and other situations necessitating the depopulation of a flock.

How many animals fit per run?

The systems must not be overloaded, the animals shall have room to stand and fall freely. Due to variations in animal sizes and available space in different systems, providing an exact number is challenging. However, as a reference, the transportation regulation, Council Regulation (EC) No 1/2005, can be used as a reference. It is recommended to load fewer animals than what is stipulated in the regulation to ensure optimal conditions.

Which system is best suited to what animal and size?

The H1 is designed for the early stages of pig production and poultry. The C1 is designed for pigs and larger poultry.

For more information see the “animal area” dimensions for each product.

Why is achieving an anoxic environment with nitrogen preferred?

Nitrogen due to its inert, tasteless, and odorless nature facilitates more humane stunning. Anoxia refers to an environment that has a total lack of oxygen. When animals are exposed to the environment they will rapidly lose consciousness without additional stress or pain. Which is why it has been recommended for stunning animals.

Anoxia shall not be confused with hypoxia, which refers to a partial lack of oxygen. An animal exposed to a hypoxic environment will sense the shortage of oxygen and experience difficulties breathing and stress.

Read more about how HEFT utilize high-expansion foam to obtain an anoxic atmosphere here.

How fast are the animals exposed to the anoxic environment?

The animals transition into the anoxic environment as the foam surpasses their heads, which occurs within a matter of seconds.

Why is nitrogen a better gas than carbon dioxide for stunning?

Besides the commercial aspects such as price and supply, nitrogen is a tasteless and odorless gas with inert properties, meaning it lacks chemical or biological reactivity and does not interact with other elements or gases. Consequently, it does not provoke aversive reactions.

There are well-documented animal welfare hazards related to carbon dioxide such as provoking aversive reactions like respiratory distress and burning sensation. Carbon dioxide is an acidic gas that when inhaled, reacts with water molecules in the mucosal tissues forming carbonic acid, causing irritation of the nasal mucosa and the induction of unconsciousness is associated with breathlessness and hyperventilation.

What is the difference between the technical filling time and filling time with animals?

The filling time without animals in the container remains constant; however, the filling time when the container is loaded with animals may vary slightly and is dependent on the stocking density. The systems maintain a technical filling time of approximately 10 seconds, depending on the system’s design. On average, the filling time with animals present is up to twice the technical filling time, typically shorter.

How does the filling time affect the animals?

From an animal welfare perspective, a faster filling time is preferred. The displacement rate of the gas is important for the well-being of the animal.

Are there any concerns regarding foam inhalation in conscious animals?

The HEFT foam bubbles are brittle and break upon contact, preventing their entry into the mouth or nostrils.

For how long do the animals have to remain in the anoxic atmosphere to guarantee effective deep stunning?

Once the process is completed, resulting in an oxygen concentration of less than 2%, the animals must remain in the anoxic atmosphere for 5 minutes.

Why is there a need for bursting the foam?

Bursting the foam serves to improve the process for both animals and operators. It reduces the duration of contact with the foam, eliminates the risk of air pockets, and ensures a homogeneous anoxic atmosphere with a maximum of 2% oxygen, enabling precise oxygen measurement. Additionally, it provides full visibility for the operator to easily monitor the animals’ responses throughout the process.

What impact does the foam have on the animals?

The foam is designed to be very light and brittle, thus leaving minimal impact on the animals.

How much gas and foam agent do the systems consume?

Gas and foam agent consumption can be found on each specific product page.

What source of nitrogen can be used?

The on-farm systems are ideally operated with 200/300 bar cylinders.

The emergency response system is ideally operated with a nitrogen tube trailer or liquid nitrogen with a vaporizer.

Is there any visibility of the animals during the process?

The systems have a built-in window for observation of the animals during the process.

Do you have visibility of the animals during the process?

Yes, our systems have a built-in window for observation of the animals during the process. There is also an outlet for an oxygen sensor to monitor the oxygen levels in the system.

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