One of the most common mistakes made when using the captive-bolt technique for euthanasia is failing to check if the calf is unconscious before proceeding to the next step (bleeding out). To check consciousness, touch your finger to the calf’s eye, explains Jim Reynolds, service chief of dairy production medicine at the Veterinary Medicine Teaching and ResearchCenter in Tulare, Calif. If the calf blinks, you must use the captive-bolt technique again. If the calf does not blink, it is all right to proceed to the next step.

For complete instructions on how to use the captive-bolt technique, go to: www.vmtrc.ucdavis.edu/dfsl/euth/index.htm  (Materials are available in English and Spanish.)