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Old 12-11-03, 12:29 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Freezing

Ok, after some discussion in the colubrid forum, I am posting a question to see what the general opinion is. I have always heard that freezing is a very easy way to die - after a period of feeling cold, you just feel sleepy, go to sleep and never wake up. My local supplier of frozen food, tells me that is the way they humanely kill their feeder mice. On the colubrid forum, someone posted to say that it is inhumane and that feeders are first killed with Co2 & then frozen. Since I know for a fact that my supplier does not kill them that way, what has been the experience of others? Since I am now just starting to grow my own food, I would also like to know because I don't want to do anything inhumane.
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Old 12-11-03, 12:51 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I don't grow my own food. But from watching other threads and peoples ideas on how to humanely kill rodents. The fastest, most humane way would be to break their neck (snaping the cervical spine, I think thats the technical way to say it, but I could be wrong.) I have been told by more than one person (not only on this site, but from other pet stores *a very good one* ) that freezing them like crystalizes their blood and makes it a painful death. But I could be wrong, you will get a lot of people on here saying alot of things, it is usually based on your own expierences and opinons.
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Old 12-11-03, 12:59 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Here is some debate on freezing rodents - am i doing it wrong?
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Old 12-11-03, 01:13 PM   #4 (permalink)
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i think unless you know exactly how to cervical snap (not everyone can do this properly) Co2 is probably the most humane method and the fastest if you have alot to do.
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Old 12-11-03, 01:37 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I wasn't to sure about it. But I do agree with you jason_h personally I could NEVER raise my own snake food. Maybe have a vet show you how to do it. No use trying and only hurting the thing.....
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Old 12-11-03, 02:29 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Another thing with breaking their necks, if you have to kil alot of mice,that takes a long time..
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Old 12-11-03, 03:20 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Freezing is not a humane method of euthanasia for rodents. They do not just fall asleep. They remain conscious for extended periods of time, feel the cold and undergo a phase of intense shivering to try to maintain their body temperature. It is cruel. It just takes place out of sight, so people don't have to watch the struggles or can kill large numbers of animals cheaply and easily.

The methods endorsed by the Canadian Council on Animal Care (http://www.ccac.ca/english/gui_pol/g...ish/toc_v1.htm)that are useful with prey species are CO2 gas and cervical dislocation or stunning that is sufficient to render the animal immediately unconscious. These methods are humane because the animal loses consciousness rapidly and doesn't experience distress before death. They require skill to perform correctly but if you are concerned about providing a humane death then it is worth locating someone who can teach you. We suggest buying frozen rodents from someone who kills with CO2 and then using these to practice methods like cervical dislocation or stunning until you are good enough at it to try it with live animals.

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Old 12-11-03, 03:31 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Ok. This subject has prompted me to do some online research on this subject. Here is what I have found so far:

"In freezing to death, we humans get to experience some nice brain chemicals. Our complex brains have a few tricks that make pain and damage to our bodies much easier to bear. When experiencing great pain, we get a rush of endorphins, and when freezing we get put into a state of euphoria. As bad as freezing to death sounds, Ive been told that as far as `preferred' methods of dying go, freezing is one of the most pleasant. Well, for mammals at least. "

and this...

"What is hypothermia?
In moderately cold environments, the body's core temperature does not usually fall more than 1C to 2C below the normal 37C because of the body's ability to adapt. However, in intense cold without adequate clothing, the body is unable to compensate for the heat loss and the body's core temperature starts to fall. The sensation of cold followed by pain in exposed parts of the body is one the first signs of mild hypothermia.

As the temperature continues to drop or as the exposure time increases, the feeling of cold and pain starts to diminish because of increasing numbness (loss of sensation). If no pain can be felt, serious injury can occur without the victim's noticing it.

Next, muscular weakness and drowsiness are experienced. This condition is called hypothermia and usually occurs when body temperature falls below 33C. Additional symptoms of hypothermia include interruption of shivering, diminished consciousness and dilated pupils. When body temperature reaches 27C, coma (profound unconsciousness) sets in. Heart activity stops around 20C and the brain stops functioning around 17C. "
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Old 12-11-03, 06:04 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Interesting read. As said, there is initailly some pain. I've heard that rats can take 24hrs to die using this method. I still feel that CO2 would be preferable as they simply fall asleep. I don't breed my rodent feeders just so that I can avoid all of this. I hate the idea of killing rodents myself. I think that I would probably cry afterwards. There may come a time where I would need to. For now, I certainly don't want to when they are soo commonly available frozen. It's cool that you researched it though. Thanx for sharing the info.
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Old 12-12-03, 12:02 PM   #10 (permalink)
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My experience has been that CO2 is the most humane/least stressful method. I also from what i've read understand that rats don't undergo the same uphoria that humans get when freezing to death.
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Old 12-12-03, 12:17 PM   #11 (permalink)
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In the US, the American Veterinary Medical Association does not recommend freezing as euthanasia and many states take their guidelines as having the force of law. Vets can have points issued against their license to practice if caught freezing live reptiles as a form of euthanasia, or cooling them as pain control. Here are the recommendations for my state, Pennsylvania, as developed by Penn State:

http://www.research.psu.edu/arp/euthanasia.shtml
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