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Knowledge At MET

Knowledge At MET


Euthanasia literally means ‘good death’, well not technically good; merciful death of lab animals is often required either at the end or at some stage of the study.

Various establishments across the globe have laid different guidelines for the protection of lab animals. Most of them specify that the death should be with minimum pain, suffering and distress. Although the specific method used to conduct the operation is at the distinction of the operator, but ‘the end should justify the means’, meaning a technique which is not very humane can be used if others would interfere with the test results.

CPCSEA (Committee for the Purpose of Control and Supervision of Experiments on Animals) is the authority that governs the killing of lab animals in India. They not only lay the rules for euthanasia but also for the storage, transportation and usage of various animals used for experimental purposes.

More information related to Euthanasia guidelines can be found at

Selection of the killing techniques to be used is also a very critical decision as it is dependant not only on the animal being used, but also on the type of experiment being performed and the data that has to be collected. For example, anaesthesia is often considered more humane than physical death, but if biochemical data is to be collected, physical methods are preferred, as the anaesthesia may affect the vital organs in the body. However, a big dilemma of the personnel performing euthanasia is the ever changing literature on the effects of the various methods being deployed. For example, carbon dioxide, the most commonly used method to kill rodents has been shown to cause behavioural aversion in all species tested.

Concluding this short article, the major factors to be considered for conducting euthanasia of lab animals are the diminution of pain to animals, the data to be collected after the experiment, the current literature of the effects of the technique used and most important that there should be absolute surety of the need of killing the animal.

Pathik Desai

(Final Year B.Pharm.)

Tags: MET Institute of Pharmacy