UNIT 1.8 Euthanasia

  1. John Donovan1,
  2. Patricia Brown2

Published Online: 1 JUL 2006

DOI: 10.1002/0471142735.im0108s73

Current Protocols in Immunology

Current Protocols in Immunology

How to Cite

Donovan, J. and Brown, P. 2006. Euthanasia. Current Protocols in Immunology. 73:II:1.8:1.8.1–1.8.4.

Author Information

  1. 1

    Wyeth Research, Collegeville, Pennsylvania

  2. 2

    National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 1 JUL 2006
  2. Published Print: JUN 2006


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.