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Euthanasia - Confirmation of Euthanasia (Policy)

IACUC Policy:

Confirmation of Euthanasia

 

Policy: The IACUC has provided a set of guidance documents (Policies, Guidelines, and Informational Sheets) for use when planning animal procedures at the University of Iowa. An exception to a Policy must be described and justified in the Animal Protocol and approved by the full IACUC at a convened monthly meeting.

Purpose: This policy lists the IACUC’s requirements of confirmation of euthanasia. 

The policy requires that any animal euthanized at the University of Iowa must be subject to a confirmatory method of euthanasia.

           

Large Animal Species (i.e. animals weighing > 500 grams of body weight and all Guinea pigs)

  • A physical confirmation of euthanasia is required following a primary method of euthanasia
  • Confirmatory methods include, but are not limited to:
    • Bilateral thoracotomy
    • Sternotomy
    • Vital tissue harvest (inclusive of heart, lungs, and/or brain)

 

Small Animal Species (i.e. animals weighing < 500 grams of body weight)

  • Confirmation of euthanasia is required following a primary method of euthanasia
  • Confirmatory methods for animals older than 14 days of age include, but are not limited to:
    • Cervical dislocation
      • Not acceptable for rats > 200 grams of body weight or hamsters
    • Decapitation
    • Thoracotomy
    • Vital tissue harvest (inclusive of heart, lungs, and/or brain)
    • Continued exposure to CO2 for at least 15 minutes after respiratory arrest
  • Confirmatory methods for neonates 14 days of age or younger (less than 14 days of age) include, but are not limited to:
    • Decapitation
      • Preferred confirmatory method
    • Thoracotomy
    • Vital tissue harvest (inclusive of heart, lungs, and/or brain)
    • Continued exposure to CO2
  • This method is discouraged as neonates are more resistant to CO2 hypoxia
  • For isoflurane euthanasia:
    • If using a vaporizer: a physical method or continued exposure to isoflurane for at least 15 minutes after respiratory arrest is acceptable
    • If using a drop jar: a physical method (cervical dislocation, decapitation, thoracotomy or vital tissue harvest) must be used for confirmation   

Xenopus

  • A physical confirmation of euthanasia is required following a primary method of euthanasia
  • Confirmatory methods of euthanasia following an overdose of anesthesia:
    • Decapitation  
      • must be confirmed by double pithing
    • Cervical section
      • must be confirmed by double pithing
    • Removal of heart

Zebrafish         

  • Confirmation of euthanasia is required following a primary method of euthanasia
  • Confirmatory methods for Zebrafish 8 days post fertilization (dpf) and older include, but are not limited to:
      • Observation of no opercular movements for at least 10 minutes following anesthetic overdose or chilling
      • Decapitation
  • Confirmatory methods for Zebrafish 4-7 dpf include, but are not limited to:
      • Observation of no opercular movements for at least 10 minutes following anesthetic overdose or chilling
      • Decapitation
    • Confirmatory methods for Zebrafish 0-3 dpf include, but are not limited to:
      • Exposure to a dilute (1-10%) sodium hypochlorite or calcium hypochlorite solution

 

References

  1. " AVMA Guidelines for the Euthanasia of Animals: 2020 Edition" AVMA.org., 2020.

 

Last Reviewed by the IACUC 6/10/2020