FLAIRE Learning

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


46 ratings
  • 5 stars28
  • 4 stars10
  • 3 stars5
  • 2 stars0
  • 1 stars3
  1. 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.



    Easy to follow, very informative.

  3. Clear and comprehensive


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

  4. Excellent job !!


    Nice and informative.

  5. It helps me a lot.


    There are many many useful informations. Thanks for all.

  6. Quite comprehensive


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

  7. 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

  8. Excellent


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

  9. Excellent


    nice o

  10. Easy reading


    Easy to follow interactive section, however does become repetitive

  11. 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)

  12. 3

    clunky whole first part is ridiculous, just give the information

  13. Excellent training


    will recommend for new arrivals to our facility, thank you

  14. 5

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

  15. 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.

  16. excelente curso


    Excelente curso, lo recomiendo.
    Muchas gracias

  17. 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!

  18. 5

    All there models good written and supported by video and images

  19. Very informative


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

  20. Human Methods


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

  21. 5

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

  22. 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

  24. 5

    the material gives very good understaning.

  25. informative course


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

  26. 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.

  27. 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.

  28. Very good


    Really good introduction to humane euthanasia

  29. Awesome


    Well described in easiest way.

  30. 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.

  31. well written


    easy and straight forward to understand

  32. excellent


    well written with all important information

  33. Very useful and informative!


    Very useful and informative!

  34. content


    very interesting material and extremely informative

  35. 4

    The course is very elaborate and educative.

  36. 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.

  37. 4

    Very informative and helpfully

  38. Good review


    Well described

  39. 4

    Informative and straightforward.

  40. 4

    Very thorough course.

  41. Easy comprehension


    Excellent review.

  42. Depth


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

  43. 5

    Explanatory course very useful for quick learning.

  44. 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

About FLAIRE Learning

Interactive resources to support the training of laboratory animal research workers and to continue the professional development of others who work with laboratory animals.

Flecknell Laboratory Animal Interactive Resources for Education

UK Accrediting Body Support

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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Newcastle University

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Additional funding by

Scottish Accreditation Board
© 2018 Newcastle University.