Question: is it safe to eat the meat from a euthanased animal?

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  1. It’s not really about weather the animal has been euthanised, it’s about what state the animal was in before euthanasia and the method of euthanasia.

    If you are talking about animals euthanised by a vet in their clinic. Then no, it best not to eat them. These animals have been euthanised because they are sick. They may have infections and/or toxics that are dangerous for you to ingest. In addition they may have been on drugs that would not bee good for you. The same goes for the laboratory animals that scientists euthanise.

    With livestock it could be different. Certainly if they have been euthanised because of disease they should be not be eaten. However, sometimes a farmer may be forced to euthanise stock because of drought, flood or because the animal has been seriously injured. If the animal was in good health before hand and the slaughter is handled properly then the meat should be safe to eat.


  2. Euthanasia is an ethical way of ending the life of an animal that is sick or suffering. So it probably isn’t a good idea to eat an animal if it has been ill. Also a lot of animal euthanasia is done using drugs that put the animal to sleep – which might be toxic to you if you ate it.

    However, another way of looking at it is that euthanasia is a way of killing that is pain-free and not cruel to the animal.I don’t eat very much meat, I am mostly vegetarian, but if I do eat meat I try to make sure it is from an animal that has had a happy life, that has been treated well and had an ethical and humane death. So in that way it is safe to eat meat that has been ethanased, that is, killed in an ethical way.



  1. Hi guys, sorry to chime in here but I just wanted to say that in the vet clinic the euthanasia fluid is chemical called a barbiturate. This is injected into the vein and spreads throughout the entire body – its like an overdose of anaesthetic. BUT the barbiturate lasts for ages in the muscles of the dead animal so, if you eat those muscles, you get the same effects of the chemical – ie if you ate enough of the meat you would fall asleep and possibly die too! so – bad idea.


  2. Cool, thanks Kate – You’ve worked in lots of vet hospitals, so I guess you’re the expert on this one. Thanks for that info!