Report of the ACLAM Task Force on Rodent Euthanasia

J Am Assoc Lab Anim Sci. 2006 Jan;45(1):98-105.


The ACLAM Task Force on Rodent Euthanasia was appointed by President Lynn Anderson in 2002 in response to growing concerns and controversy regarding techniques that were commonly used for rodent euthanasia. Three issues were targeted as the focus of the report: euthanasia of fetal and neonatal rodents, the use of carbon dioxide for rodent euthanasia, and the impact of euthanasia techniques on data. The charge to the Task Force was to create a document that summarized in a scholarly and comprehensive manner all available data-based literature relevant to these topics, to assess the scientific merit of the design and conclusions of those studies, and to compile valid information into a concise and cohesive document that could serve as a resource for diplomates, other veterinarians, IACUC members, regulatory bodies, and research scientists. The Task Force has fulfilled this charge in an exemplary manner. During 2004-2005, the ACLAM officers and Board of Directors (BOD) reviewed and critiqued 2 draft versions of the report, and suggestions for change were incorporated into the document presented here. In July 2005, the BOD voted to forego the usual process of distributing the document to theACLAM membership for comment before release based on 2 considerations. First, the literature relevant to rodent euthanasia is continually expanding. As such, at each revision, the Task Force was compelled to incorporate new data and citations. Their consensus view was that new data would continue to emerge, and the document would require continual revision as the review process continued. Related to that, the 2nd consideration of the BOD was that information already accumulated would be of immediate utility to the stake-holders listed above. In lieu of a pre-publication comment period, the BOD and the Task Force instead invite all diplomates, as well as other parties, to comment via email or mail to the BOD liaison for this project, who will compile and maintain all remarks. After an interval deemed appropriate by the ACLAM President, a 2nd Task Force will be appointed to update and modify the Report. Comments will be considered at that time. I want to personally thank all members of the Task Force for their conscientious and comprehensive efforts in compiling this information. They have created a valuable and informative synthesis that should serve as a resource to the community for years to come.

Publication types

  • Guideline

MeSH terms

  • Advisory Committees
  • Animal Welfare
  • Animals
  • Animals, Laboratory* / physiology
  • Animals, Laboratory* / psychology
  • Carbon Dioxide / toxicity
  • Drug Delivery Systems / methods
  • Euthanasia, Animal / methods*
  • Laboratory Animal Science / methods*
  • Rodentia* / physiology
  • Rodentia* / psychology
  • Stress, Psychological


  • Carbon Dioxide