The ILAR Guide defines euthanasia as "...the procedure of killing animals rapidly and painlessly..." Campus euthanasia guidelines follow those established by the American Veterinary Medical Association Medical Association (AVMA) Guidelines on Euthanasia. Proposed euthanasia techniques must be approved by DLAM and the ARC during review of animal use protocols.
Euthanasia should be carried out by personnel correctly trained in the method being used. Measures should be taken to ensure that euthanasia is performed in a way that minimizes reactions among other animals that may be present. Proper euthanasia includes a follow-up examination to confirm the absence of a heartbeat, which is a reliable indicator of death. Monitoring respiration is not considered sufficient since the heart may continue to beat after visible respiration has ceased. Physical methods of euthanasia (cervical dislocation or decapitation) may not be conducted without prior anesthesia unless scientifically justified and approved by the ARC. Additionally, the equipment used to perform decapitation should be maintained in good working order and serviced on a regular basis to ensure sharpness of the blades.