CARE307.

01

Euthanasia of Non-Rodent Mammals

The intent of this standard operating procedure (SOP) is to describe non-rodent mammalian euthanasia. It is intended for all staff and investigators who euthanize non-rodent mammals. This procedure is approved by the Cornell Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) and the Cornell Center for Animal Resources and Education (CARE). Any exemption must be approved by the IACUC prior to its application. TABLE OF CONTENTS 1. Introduction 2. Acceptable Methods by Species Based on AVMA Panel Regulations 3. Barbiturate Overdose 4. Overdose of Inhalant Anesthetic 5. Exsanguination 6. Physical Methods 7. References ___________________________________________________________________ 1. Introduction a. Ensure that all individuals responsible for euthanasia have appropriate training, and adhere to IACUC-approved protocols and institutional policies. b. Ensure that equipment is well maintained by trained personnel for optimal performance. c. Verify death. 2. Acceptable Methods by Species Based on AVMA Panel Regulations a. Rabbit i. Barbiturate overdose ii. Overdose of inhalant anesthetic iii. Exsanguination under general anesthesia b. Cat and Dog i. Barbiturate overdose ii. Overdose of inhalant anesthetic iii. Exsanguination under general anesthesia c. Sheep, Pig, Goat, Cattle, and Equine i. Barbiturate overdose ii. Exsanguination under general anesthesia iii. Physical methods

3. Barbiturate Overdose a. If necessary, tranquilize animals in pain or agitated prior to barbiturate overdose. b. Pentobarbital sodium is the main agent of injectable euthanasia solutions. Refer to the label of your euthanasia solution for specific concentrations. The recommendations following are generalizations. i. Dogs and cats inject 120 mg/kg IV ii. Large animals inject 60-80 mg/kg of body weight IV Important: verify that an animal is dead before disposing of the carcass, by observing that there is no respiratory movement for at least 3 minutes, and the heartbeat has ceased. 4. Overdose of Inhalant Anesthetic a. The following gases can be used: halothane, isoflurane, methoxyflurane, other halogenated inhalants b. Expose the animal to a high gas concentration using an anesthetic vaporizer. c. Vapors are inhaled until respiration ceases and death ensues. Important: verify that an animal is dead before disposing of the carcass, by observing that there is no respiratory movement for at least 3 minutes, and the heartbeat has ceased. d. If the animal is not dead (or for additional security), follow inhalant anesthesia overdose by another method of euthanasia. 5. Exsanguination a. Deeply anesthetize the animal. b. Verify that withdrawal reflex is absent by pinching the toes with hemostats of non-hooved animals and pinching leg tendon of a hooved animal. c. Withdraw the maximum volume of blood. Important: verify that an animal is dead before disposing of the carcass, by observing that there is no respiratory movement for at least 3 minutes, and the heartbeat has ceased. d. If the animal is not dead (or for additional security), follow exsanguination by another method of euthanasia. 6. Physical Methods a. Considerations i. Use these techniques only when scientifically justified by the user and approved by the IACUC. ii. Whenever possible, apply prior anesthesia or sedation.

iii. If anesthesia is contraindicated, ensure that these methods be applied only by a demonstrated skilled and experienced person. b. Penetrating captive bolt gun i. Ensure proper operation by following maintenance and cleaning of the penetrating captive bolt gun, as described by the manufacturer. ii. Captive bolts are powered by gun powder; thus select appropriate cartridge strength for the size of the animal, and manufacturers’ recommendations. iii. Do not use captive bolt on adult pigs or mature bulls due to the density of the skull. iv. The optimal site for penetration of the skull varies by species. Ensure that adequate training is obtained for each species v. Place the captive bolt gun firmly against the skull. vi. After captive bolt stunning, immediately (<1/2 minute) exsanguinate the animal by cutting the jugular and carotid arteries. Important: verify that an animal is dead before disposing of the carcass, by observing that there is no respiratory movement for at least 3 minutes, and the heartbeat has ceased. 7. References AVMA Guidelines on Euthanasia, June 2007: http://www.avma.org/issues/animal_welfare/euthanasia.pdf http://www.gov.on.ca/OMAFRA/english/livestock/animalcare/facts/info_euthan asia_cc.htm Animal Welfare Committee of the American Association of Bovine Practitioners.

Written by/date : Brenda Collins April 17, 2003

Effective date : November 20, 2003

Review date : January 2007

Referee: M. Martin Denny Shaw

SOP : CARE307.01

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