Euthanasia and Necropsy


Book Section

Recommendations for animal euthanasia are provided by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) Panel on Euthanasia. Physical, inhalant, and pharmacologic methods of euthanasia all have their place in research studies that employ laboratory rats. Several factors are critically important to consider when choosing the method of euthanasia. The method must be humane and produce minimal discomfort, the time elapsed until unconsciousness and death should be as short as possible, the method must have a minimal impact on the experimental parameters being investigated, and the method should consider the safety factors and emotional effects on staff. The AVMA guidelines for euthanasia list a variety of techniques that are suitable for use in rats. One physical method used for euthanasia of laboratory rats is decapitation, usually using a rodent guillotine. Rats weighing less than 200 g can be humanely killed by using cervical dislocation. The AVMA guidelines on euthanasia recommend sedation before decapitation and/or cervical dislocation. Many institutional animal care and use committees (IACUCs) make exceptions to this requirement if the investigator can demonstrate the possibility of deleterious effects of sedation on the experimental parameters being studied. © 2006 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Everitt, JI; Gross, EA

Published Date

  • December 1, 2006

Book Title

  • The Laboratory Rat

Start / End Page

  • 665 - 678

International Standard Book Number 13 (ISBN-13)

  • 9780120749034

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/B978-012074903-4/50023-6

Citation Source

  • Scopus