A Technique for Euthanasia of Large Whales
IAAAM 2014
Douglas Coughran1*
1Department of Parks and Wildlife, Nature Protection Branch, WA, Australia


A method for the safe and effective euthanasia of large beached humpback whales using explosives to achieve a quick time to death has been developed in Western Australia. A methodology involving a cranial implosion technique has been successfully used to carry out euthanasia of five live stranded humpback whales measuring 9.1–12.7 m. The varying conditions encountered when dealing with large baleen whales are discussed. Issues relating to the wider application of this method to other species of baleen whale and large odontocete species are discussed along with key safety implications for the safe use of this method.

* Presenting author


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Douglas Coughran
Department of Parks and Wildlife
Nature Protection Branch
WA, Australia

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