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A Good Death? Report of the Second Newcastle Meeting on Laboratory Animal Euthanasia

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

ABSTRACT

Simple summary: Millions of laboratory animals are killed each year worldwide. However, there is a lack of consensus regarding what methods of killing are humane for many species and stages of development. This report summarises research findings and discussions from an international meeting of experts and stakeholders, with recommendations to inform good practice for humane killing of mice, rats and zebrafish. It provides additional guidance and perspectives for researchers designing projects that involve euthanasing animals, researchers studying aspects of humane killing, euthanasia device manufacturers, regulators, and institutional ethics or animal care and use committees that wish to review local practice.

Abstract: Millions of laboratory animals are killed each year worldwide. There is an ethical, and in many countries also a legal, imperative to ensure those deaths cause minimal suffering. However, there is a lack of consensus regarding what methods of killing are humane for many species and stages of development. In 2013, an international group of researchers and stakeholders met at Newcastle University, United Kingdom to discuss the latest research and which methods could currently be considered most humane for the most commonly used laboratory species (mice, rats and zebrafish). They also discussed factors to consider when making decisions about appropriate techniques for particular species and projects, and priorities for further research. This report summarises the research findings and discussions, with recommendations to help inform good practice for humane killing.

No MeSH data available.


Example of apparatus for conditioned place preference/aversion paradigm. The right and left cage compartments have differently patterned and textured floors and walls to ensure the animal can discriminate between them.
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animals-06-00050-f003: Example of apparatus for conditioned place preference/aversion paradigm. The right and left cage compartments have differently patterned and textured floors and walls to ensure the animal can discriminate between them.

Mentions: In an unpublished study, Golledge et al. repeatedly exposed male Lister hooded rats to CO2 (20% chamber volume per minute flow rate, 2.4 L/min), isoflurane (5%, delivered in 100% oxygen, 2.4 L/min) and argon (chamber prefilled to 98%) to the brink of losing consciousness. These animals had no opportunity to escape from the chamber at any time. The same animals were exposed to air at the same flow rate but in a different chamber. Control and exposure chambers were made distinctive using both visual and tactile cues (Figure 3). Following six conditioning exposures to each of the chambers, the animals were allowed to move freely between the two and their preferences were measured. All three agents caused significant conditioned place aversion. This suggests that rats repeatedly exposed to all three agents have some memory of negative affect during exposure, consistent with the results reviewed earlier showing that repeat exposure is aversive. Golledge called for more research to document the extent of suffering when animals are exposed to different euthanasia agents. This may require the development of and use of more sophisticated testing methods. These findings also underline the need to search for alternative agents for both anaesthesia and euthanasia.


A Good Death? Report of the Second Newcastle Meeting on Laboratory Animal Euthanasia
Example of apparatus for conditioned place preference/aversion paradigm. The right and left cage compartments have differently patterned and textured floors and walls to ensure the animal can discriminate between them.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC5035945&req=5

animals-06-00050-f003: Example of apparatus for conditioned place preference/aversion paradigm. The right and left cage compartments have differently patterned and textured floors and walls to ensure the animal can discriminate between them.
Mentions: In an unpublished study, Golledge et al. repeatedly exposed male Lister hooded rats to CO2 (20% chamber volume per minute flow rate, 2.4 L/min), isoflurane (5%, delivered in 100% oxygen, 2.4 L/min) and argon (chamber prefilled to 98%) to the brink of losing consciousness. These animals had no opportunity to escape from the chamber at any time. The same animals were exposed to air at the same flow rate but in a different chamber. Control and exposure chambers were made distinctive using both visual and tactile cues (Figure 3). Following six conditioning exposures to each of the chambers, the animals were allowed to move freely between the two and their preferences were measured. All three agents caused significant conditioned place aversion. This suggests that rats repeatedly exposed to all three agents have some memory of negative affect during exposure, consistent with the results reviewed earlier showing that repeat exposure is aversive. Golledge called for more research to document the extent of suffering when animals are exposed to different euthanasia agents. This may require the development of and use of more sophisticated testing methods. These findings also underline the need to search for alternative agents for both anaesthesia and euthanasia.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

ABSTRACT

Simple summary: Millions of laboratory animals are killed each year worldwide. However, there is a lack of consensus regarding what methods of killing are humane for many species and stages of development. This report summarises research findings and discussions from an international meeting of experts and stakeholders, with recommendations to inform good practice for humane killing of mice, rats and zebrafish. It provides additional guidance and perspectives for researchers designing projects that involve euthanasing animals, researchers studying aspects of humane killing, euthanasia device manufacturers, regulators, and institutional ethics or animal care and use committees that wish to review local practice.

Abstract: Millions of laboratory animals are killed each year worldwide. There is an ethical, and in many countries also a legal, imperative to ensure those deaths cause minimal suffering. However, there is a lack of consensus regarding what methods of killing are humane for many species and stages of development. In 2013, an international group of researchers and stakeholders met at Newcastle University, United Kingdom to discuss the latest research and which methods could currently be considered most humane for the most commonly used laboratory species (mice, rats and zebrafish). They also discussed factors to consider when making decisions about appropriate techniques for particular species and projects, and priorities for further research. This report summarises the research findings and discussions, with recommendations to help inform good practice for humane killing.

No MeSH data available.