eModule : Humane Methods of Killing Laboratory Animals

4339 STUDENTS ENROLLED

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

The learning outcomes for module 6.3 are listed in full (as the last item on the menu on the right)

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.
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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.

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