RFP: Animal Well-Being

The National Pork Board’s foreign animal disease research task force and depopulation research subgroup are requesting proposals addressing research areas specific to swine depopulation methods and strategies.

Research in this area will benefit the industry overall with greater knowledge of how to perform depopulation. Depopulation research and communication will support the goal to build trust in the swine industry and highlight multiple We Care pillars including Our People and Animal Well-Being.

What Problem Does This RFP Address?

Identify and fund key projects on swine depopulation in order to fill knowledge gaps specific to swine depopulation during an emergency event (i.e., COVID-19, FAD).

This research will target depopulation methods that are scalable to animal size (i.e., weaned pigs, sows) and animal group size. Individual methods of depopulation will not be considered. 

Criteria for Approval

Methods of depopulation to be considered for funding include:

  • Foam – preference will be given to water-based and gas-filled foam
  • Carbon monoxide
  • Other inhaled gases
  • Electrocution

All submitted projects should be multidisciplinary in their approach. Proposed methodologies need to be described in detail and research methods used in the study need to be validated. Proposals should include expected method setup time, expected execution time, and determination of loss of consciousness and confirmation of death.

Projects that have cooperative arrangements with industry are strongly encouraged and will be prioritized. The use of modeling to determine the best available depopulation method prior to on-farm testing is highly encouraged.

Preference will be given to those proposals with an Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) review. Funded proposals that do not include academic or subject matter experts may be assigned a scientific advisory committee to support study design and animal welfare measurements.

Proposals with the following qualities will be given preference:

  • Provides an immediate euthanasia/depopulation solution to the industry
  • Cost-effective with cost estimates for implementation
  • The application can be adapted to a large number of animals in an efficient manner
  • Provides consideration for method selection and use during extreme temperatures
  • Provides estimates of animal throughput

Proposals must consider each of the criteria described in the AVMA Guidelines for the Depopulation of Animals when selecting a depopulation method :

  1. Ability to induce loss of consciousness followed by death with a minimum of pain or distress
  2. Time required to induce loss of consciousness and the behavior of the animal during that time
  3. Reliability and irreversibility of the methods resulting in death of the animal
  4. Safety of personnel
  5. Compatibility with the safety of other humans, animals, and the environment
  6. Potential psychological or emotional impacts on personnel
  7. Ability to maintain equipment in proper working order
  8. Legal and religious requirements
  9. Sensitivity to public sentiment regarding the destruction of large numbers of animals
  10. Availability of agents and carcass-processing and disposal venues to handle the volume

Due Date

Research proposals for this RFP are due October 3, 2022.

Proposals will be evaluated and selections will be completed by October 17, 2022.

Contracts will start by December 1, 2022 and the deadline for research completion and submission of results to NPB no later than November 30, 2023.


A task force comprised of pork producers, allied industry representatives and subject matter experts will evaluate each proposal for its approach to desired outcomes, application and impact on the pork production industry.

Funding Amount

The FAD research task force and depopulation research subgroup have allocated $713,000 to fund swine depopulation-related research.

There is no exact funding limit for submitted proposals, but the budget request should be appropriate and justified for the work that is being proposed.

Researchers are encouraged to find matching funds or in-kind contributions to the project.

Proposals should provide a clear overall vision and objectives for the entire project with a detailed plan of work and budget outline.

Proposal Format

Submissions for this RFP should follow the National Pork Board’s standard research proposal format and requirements. Please ensure your proposal format includes all required information, specifically under the budget section.


Stephanie Wisdom
Director of Animal Welfare
National Pork Board