On-farm pig euthanasia considers aspects of welfare and economics, but few comprehensive guidelines are available for swine producers, and further; do not consider cultural barriers. Euthanasia requires the ability to identify compromised pigs, technical skills, and willingness to euthanize pigs. In addition, timely euthanasia is part of the Common Swine Industry Audit (CSIA) and, thus, can lead to failed audits. The U.S. swine industry employs a high percentage of Latin American workers some that are U.S. residents/citizens and others through non-immigrant North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) visas. These workers vary in their degree of education and swine industry experience. The Hispanic workforce largely represents the bulk of agricultural workers. Proper training of this workforce and identification of the barriers associated to performing timely euthanasia are critical. The objectives of this study were to: 1) Develop and validate surveys for caretakers’/workers’ attitudes towards pig euthanasia. 2) Use the developed survey materials to assess caretakers/workers in the different barn units,  3) Utilize focus groups to better understand the underlying psychological impact on caretakers when performing on-farm euthanasia that may not have been identified by the surveys, and 4) To establish a framework on which future intervention strategies based on our findings can be used to improve animal welfare, caretaker morale/mental health, and job satisfaction. This study used an 83-item survey instrument that included five survey sections: 1) Demographics, 2) Swine Management, 3) The Impact of Event Scale-Revised (Bride et al., 2007) , 4) The Professional Quality of Life Scale (ProQOL, 2009) and 5) The Moral Injury Event Scale (Nash et al., 2014).

In total 16 farms were surveyed in the State in of Iowa, in which 163 workers were eligible for this study. The demographic and swine management survey data were analyzed using a Chi-Square test, indicating that employees with less time working in the farm showed less CSIA knowledge, lower ability to identify pigs that needed to be euthanized, lower willingness to perform euthanasia on their own, and preferred not to have the responsibility of telling others when to euthanize a pig (p<0.001). Spearman’s rank-order correlations with The Professional Quality Of Life (ProQOL, 2009) and the Moral Injury Event Scale (Nash et. al, 2014) indicated that stress and transgressions were the most frequently correlated scale, related to burnout, betrayals, and worker satisfaction (p=.022). A Mann-Whitney U test determined gender differences, presenting a high level of stress (p=.026) and a low level of satisfaction (p=.015) in females and the opposite results in males. The focus group analysis results showed that there was a need to address/reduce swine caretakers’ stress, the importance of work experience to perform euthanasia, and potential training to improve caretakers’ mental health. This study emphasizes and concludes that the swine industry must identify factors that decrease or negatively affect the employees’ ability to perform timely euthanasia but take cultural barriers into account in order to provide efficient training programs and to improve best practices in the swine industry. Such as the need to take mental health into perspective in order to help workers cope with trauma for bad experiences or feelings of fear, training caretakers to identify and perform euthanasia confidently and competently, focus on personnel with difficulty making euthanasia decisions and less swine experience, and improve participation in and understanding of effective euthanasia practices.