eModule : Humane Methods of Killing Laboratory Animals


The EU requirements for training staff who will carry out euthanasia of laboratory animals comprises three sections:

EU Module 6.1 (Theory) EU Module 6.3
Information on the principles of the humane killing of laboratory animals, and is undertaken as part of the core modular training of new research staff. All of the material in modules 6.1 and 6.2. Since it is designed as a stand-alone module for those who only perform Function D (Killing of animals using methods listed on Schedule 1 of the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act), it also includes relevant learning outcomes from other training modules. These include legislation, ethics and the 3Rs, practical animal handling and safe working practices.
EU Module 6.2 (Skills)
Practical training in appropriate methods for individual species completed within your institution.

This resource is split into two sections:

  • an interactive scenario which meets the learning outcomes of EU Module 6.1 and;
  • a set of training materials, which when viewed in addition to the interactive scenario, meets the learning outcomes of EU Module 6.3.

If you only perform Function D and are viewing this content as a stand-alone module then you must review all of this material.

If you are viewing this resource as part of a more extensive training course (for example PIL A/B training in the UK), then your course will already include specific modules on legislation, safety etc. You may not be required to access all of the EU Module 6.3 training materials although you may still find them useful as a means of reviewing these topics in relation to methods of euthanasia.

Course Curriculum

EU 6.1 Interactive Scenario
Interactive Scenario Part 1 00:16:00
An introduction to the issues surrounding the euthanasia of laboratory rodents.
Interactive Scenario Part 2 00:16:00
Further consideration of factors which influence the choice of methods of euthanasia in laboratory rodents.
Scenario Notebook 00:00:00
Easy access to more detailed explanation of the methods including video demonstrations of Schedule 1 methods in laboratory rodents.
EU 6.3 Training Materials
1 – The Principles of Humane Killing 00:03:00
An introduction to the topic of euthanasia in laboratory rodents.
2 – An Introduction to the Relevant Legislation 00:13:00
An overview of the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act and how it controls the humane killing of animals.
3 – Ethics, 3Rs, a Culture of Care and Humane Killing of Animals 00:07:00
An overview of ethical issues associated with euthanasia of laboratory animals.
4 – Animal Health and Welfare 00:05:00
Key information relating to handling, restraint and understanding the biology and behaviour of laboratory animals.
5 – Safety Considerations 00:08:00
Health and safety issues associated with humane killing of laboratory animals.
EU 6.3 Methods of Euthanasia (Rodents)
6 – Methods Summary 00:02:00
A tabular summary of the methods covered in this tutorial.
7 – Cervical Dislocation 00:03:00
A description of the technique, its advantages and disadvantages and how it should be refined to be as humane as possible.
8 – Concussion 00:02:00
A description of the technique, its advantages and disadvantages and how it should be refined to be as humane as possible.
9 – Exposure to CO2 00:04:00
A description of the technique, its advantages and disadvantages and how it should be refined to be as humane as possible.
10 – Inhalation of Anaesthetic 00:04:00
A description of the technique, its advantages and disadvantages and how it should be refined to be as humane as possible.
11 – Injection of Anaesthetic 00:05:00
A description of the technique, its advantages and disadvantages and how it should be refined to be as humane as possible.
12 – Neonatal and Foetal Animals 00:02:00
Special considerations when humanely killing neonatal and foetal animals.
EU 6.3 Additional Resources
References 00:00:00
References cited in the text.
Learning Outcomes 00:02:00
Learning outcomes for EU 6.3 as set out by the National Competent Authorities Expert Working Group for the implementation of Directive 2010/63/EU on the protection of animals used for scientific purposes.

Course Reviews


81 ratings
  • 5 stars49
  • 4 stars22
  • 3 stars7
  • 2 stars0
  • 1 stars3
  1. Humane Methods of Killing Laboratory Animals


    Well written, easy to follow

  2. useful


    The course provides important information.

  3. Depth


    Contains all important information. well done

  4. 5

    The introductory video is very hepful

  5. A good course with detailed explanations


    A good course with detailed explanations and videos.

  6. eModule: Humane Methods of Killing Laboratory Animals


    Very detailed and well explained.

  7. Very good


    Really useful and complete course.

  8. very good course


    informative interesting well put together.

  9. Informative


    For someone just researching the euthinasia of lab animals this was very useful.
    The video’s were good to see as they helped to show how quick & effective the procedures are. I’ve only previous experience within veterinary medicine.

  10. 4

    some good information throughout, some more clips and questions throughout the second half would take away from reading pages of information that some learners may find difficult or not take in the information

  11. Humane methods of killing lab animals


    Extremely informative

  12. Perfect


    Love the scenarios !

  13. highly infromative


    the course is very informative, the information is concise and understandable.
    very good layout

  14. Good Info


    Finished course in 1 hour lots of information and nice videos providing demonstrations of different euthanasia methods so its easy to understand aswell.

  15. Good course


    good and interesting

  16. Why the interactive part?


    I would support removing the interactive part – having the same as text only without the cartoonish characters would be better.
    The written content is good and informative.

  17. Excellent information about the humane methods of killing the animals.


    Going through each module gave sufficient information about the humane killing of animals, use of animals in research, methods of humane killing, advantages and disadvantages of each of the methods.

    Thank you so much for the information.

    I strongly recommend to my colleagues and friends who are going to get trained in animal handling and also to the people who are planning to use animals in their studies.

  18. Schedule 1 refresher


    Our University has opted to use FLAIRE as part of our training requirements

  19. Lab Animal Euthanasia


    really helpful for anyone training for their HO office modules or training to perform euthanasia on animals

  20. emod 1


    this was very helpful and and helped me understand better the many ways

  21. Interactive and interesting (very informative too)


    It has a lot of information that will give an overall understanding to how humane methods work and all the legal requirements which is good to know prior starting work with lab animals. However, the program is a bit slow load at times. Overall it worked really well.

  22. several loading issues


    It was very thorough but I dislike how much time it takes to load and how it got stuck ~7 times so needed reloading

  23. Nice explanation and illustration


    Well illustrated

  24. Very good


    I like doing the interactive scenario FIRST and then backing-it up with the information in EU 6.3. The summaries of the law and ethics, while usefully general in scope, are nicely tied into the issues surrounding euthanasia

  25. 4

    Good explanation of all the techniques and the ethical background.




  27. Very informative


    I found the videos a little distressing to watch but the course was very informative for a beginner technician.

  28. human killing of lab animals


    nice videos, useful.
    clearly and extensively explained

  29. human killing of lab animals


    very well done.
    clearly and extensively explained

  30. Humane Methods of Killing Laboratory Animals


    Very good.

  31. 5

    Really helpful, valuable and praiseworthy

  32. Humane Methods of Killing Laboratory Animals


    Really useful and informative module

  33. Unable to complete, Glitchy.


    The information in these courses is fantastic.
    However, The interactive scenarios glitch out and you are unable to finish the course.

  34. 5

    thank you Flaire !



    Easy to follow, very informative.

  36. Clear and comprehensive


    Clear and comprehensive. It would be good if it had some assessment to put at test our knowledge. Nice interactive scenarios.

  37. Excellent job !!


    Nice and informative.

  38. It helps me a lot.


    There are many many useful informations. Thanks for all.

  39. Quite comprehensive


    Well explained and designed covering all major aspects of lab animal euthanasia

  40. 5

    This course was elegantly designed. Although at time it maybe a tad bit wordy but this is understandable due to legislative nature of the material. The simple navigation menu is praiseworthy and the interactive scenario definitely help set the scene prior to learning material Well done

  41. Excellent


    Covers all content of the course in a very engaging way.
    Kudos on the ineractive modules!

  42. Easy reading


    Easy to follow interactive section, however does become repetitive

  43. I need a faster computer


    Once the technical aspects were sorted its actually a rather neatly organised lab book (but something that stresses out the older computers a little less would be a great improvement)

  44. 3

    clunky whole first part is ridiculous, just give the information

  45. Excellent training


    will recommend for new arrivals to our facility, thank you

  46. 5

    Really nice theoretical material.
    But oh God, Mary is such an annoying person. How could she even got a job there? 😀

  47. Humane Methods of Killing Laboratory Animals


    This is a great refresher course for those of us that need to remind ourselves from time.

    However, and as many other people have mentioned, the word “killing” shocks me a little… Over here in France we use the definition “Sacrifice”

    Thanks for the great work you folks do.

  48. excelente curso


    Excelente curso, lo recomiendo.
    Muchas gracias

  49. Clear and complete


    Course is very clear and complete, everything is in there explained in detail so that user can comprehend every part of the schedule 1 procedures and be sure of which should be the best according to each need. Good Job!

  50. 5

    All there models good written and supported by video and images

  51. Very informative


    Well put together course, good mix or interactive and text reading. Providing a lot of information without being overwhelming.

  52. Human Methods


    Thats good.! The course are good and necessary to the students and Technicians.

  53. 5

    Covered all the important points in an interactive and interesting way. V useful, thank you.

  54. Dear Tom, we’re sorry you found the language used on our e-learning module upsetting. In the UK, “cull” (at least to us) has implications of a less caring approach to killing animals than “humanely kill”. Euthanise is an alternative used extensively in the USA, but isn’t a term that is widely used in Europe. Hence our use of humane killing. We hope that the module sets out the need for killing laboratory animals clearly, and my own view is that if this is carried out in a careful and humane manner, then it is justified based on the overall benefits of using animals in research.



    Please do not use the word “killing” so liberally, it’s literally every second word – you’re making me feel like a murderer. Words such as “cull” or “euthanise” would’ve been appreciated. Have some decency

  56. 5

    the material gives very good understaning.

  57. informative course


    Very thorough and informative with clear explanations. Use of videos and the scenarios was helpful.

  58. Humane methods of killing laboratory animals


    The interactive scenarios took way too much unnecessary time to give very little information. The scenarios (possibly due to heavy graphics) got stuck every 5 minutes and took me ages getting through them. The information contained in the different sections is very redundant. A downloadable version would be much more useful for rapid consultation in the BSU.

  59. Review on emodule of Humane methods of killing laboratory animals


    Its a very good module based on different methods of humane killing laboratory animals like rodent, mice, birds and other vertebrates.

  60. Very good


    Really good introduction to humane euthanasia

  61. Awesome


    Well described in easiest way.

  62. 3

    All the course materials and content were very good and informative, however there were numerous issues with the interactive scenarios not loading properly on my laptop using Chrome.

  63. well written


    easy and straight forward to understand

  64. excellent


    well written with all important information

  65. Very useful and informative!


    Very useful and informative!

  66. content


    very interesting material and extremely informative

  67. 4

    The course is very elaborate and educative.

  68. Good overview of ASPA , ethics and humane techniques, but somewhat mammal centric


    Good overview of the general techniques for humane killing, perhaps for this module, I would have liked a bit more on other species that are not represented by just mammals. (i.e. Zebrafish, amphibians, etc.)
    Then this would be a excellent overview on the humane methods of killing laboratory animals.

  69. 4

    Very informative and helpfully

  70. Good review


    Well described

  71. 4

    Informative and straightforward.

  72. Easy comprehension


    Excellent review.

  73. Depth


    This course is VERY informative and provides all essential material to help you understand your job role and your animals better.

  74. 5

    Explanatory course very useful for quick learning.

  75. excellent


    Well written. Contains all important information.

  • FREE

Support & Sponsors

We are also grateful to the ongoing support of the Scottish Accreditation Board and thank LAWTE for funding initial development of this online eModule.

eModule Details

Meets all of the learning objectives in EU Module 6.3.

The Royal Society of Biology, the Universities’ Training Group and the Scottish Accreditation Board support the use of these eModules as part of the training requirements for Personal Licence holders in the UK.

Course Reviews

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