APPENDIX 4H Euthanasia

  1. John Donovan1,
  2. Patricia Brown2

Published Online: 1 NOV 2005

DOI: 10.1002/0471142301.nsa04hs33

Current Protocols in Neuroscience

Current Protocols in Neuroscience

How to Cite

Donovan, J. and Brown, P. 2005. Euthanasia. Current Protocols in Neuroscience. 33:4H:A.4H.1–A.4H.4.

Author Information

  1. 1

    Wyeth-Ayerst Research, Collegeville, Pennsylvania

  2. 2

    National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 1 NOV 2005
  2. Published Print: OCT 2005


Euthanasia of laboratory animals must be performed by trained personnel using appropriate techniques, equipment, and reagents in order to effect a death that is humane and satisfies research requirements. Acceptable methods of euthanasia are painless or minimize distress, and are quick and easy to perform, safe for those performing the procedure, and efficient and economic. They are aesthetically acceptable and are done in the absence of other animals. In addition, these methods do not result in gross histological or histochemical changes that would adversely affect research results. This unit offers protocols for euthanasia employing carbon dioxide asphyxiation (see Basic Protocol 1), pentobarbital overdose (see Basic Protocol 2), exsanguination, and cervical dislocation for the mouse, rat, hamster, and rabbit.