Iowa Pork Industry Center Rolls Out Euthanasia Workshop

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Euthanex boxAMES, Iowa -- Pork producers are committed to making sure their pigs receive proper humane animal care. But despite their best efforts, not every pig will make it to market. A new euthanasia workshop created by Dr. Anna Johnson, associate professor of animal science; Dr. Suzanne Millman, professor, veterinary diagnostic and production animal medicine and biomedical science; and the Iowa Pork Industry Center at Iowa State University will address this important issue.

“We developed the workshop in response to concerns from pork producers about this critical swine welfare issue,” J. Erik Potter, IPIC swine specialist, said. “Participants will leave the workshop confident in their ability to recognize compromised pigs and will feel comfortable talking through the euthanasia process.”

The workshop is structured in a modular fashion to allow customization based on the type of American Veterinarian Medical Association-approved euthanasia methods used by each pork producer.

“The goal of this workshop is not to push one type of euthanasia over another,” Johnson said. “Pork producers already are comfortable with the methods they use. The workshop is designed to review and refresh producers on the euthanasia process. We also provide them with opportunity to learn about alternate methods they may wish to consider using on their farms.”

In addition, the workshop will provide producers with a way to help prepare them for a third-party Common Swine Industry Audit.

“Euthanasia is a sensitive topic and speaking openly about it can be a stumbling point while being interviewed by an auditor,” Potter said.

Topics in the two-hour workshop include:

  • Review of Pork Quality Assurance Plus and CSIA euthanasia materials
  • Euthanasia introduction
  • Insensibility signs
  • How to determine death
  • Review of pigs that meet euthanasia criteria per PQA Plus and the CSIA
  • Approved swine euthanasia method(s) based on what the producer is using

For questions or to schedule a workshop, contact Potter at or your local Iowa State Extension and Outreach swine specialist.


IPIC was established in 1994 as a coordinated effort of the colleges of Agriculture (now Agriculture and Life Sciences) and Veterinary Medicine at ISU. Its mission is to promote efficient pork production technologies in Iowa, maintain Iowa's pork industry leadership and strengthen rural development efforts. IPIC focuses its efforts on programs that are integral and complementary to ISU Extension and Outreach. Through IPIC, Iowa producers receive accurate and timely information to make their operations more efficient and profitable.

J. Erik Potter, extension swine specialist, 515-294-8797,



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