Monday, February 10, 2014

Bolt Guns as Euthanasia

More information has come to light on the slaughter and butchering of Marius the young healthy giraffe killed Sunday by the Copenhagen Zoo in order to protect the genetic purity of its herd of giraffes. The Zoo contends in its defense that this final solution was necessary to ensure he didn't pass his genes on later generations. The Zoo claims that Marius was euthanized. However it has come to light that he was 'euthanized' by the use of a device called variously a bolt gun and a captive bolt gun. The latter is more descriptive of the process of 'euthanizing' the soon to be dead creature. The captive bolt gun does not actually kill its victim. It is analogous to the use of a sledge hammer. It does not shoot anything into the brain, the bolt is held captive by the gun and is reused again and again.
The gun was invented in 1903 and is used in slaughterhouses to stun and concuss the animal before it is skinned and dismembered. The device is powered by either compressed gas or by a blank set off by a firing pin which slams a bolt toward the forehead of the creature being turned into hamburger or in this case lion food. It does not kill the creature it merely causes a skull fracture and a consequent concussion and a lack of consciousness.
In simple English what this means is Marius was hit in the forehead by a piece of metal hard enough to cause him to black out or simply to see stars, we don't know which since this device has not yet been tested on the director of the Copenhagen Zoo. Immediately thereafter and presumably while still alive Marius was skinned and the process of butchering him begun. I am amazed at the abuse of the English language that occurs when this process is called euthanasia.

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