Methods of euthanasia

Confirmation of death

After carrying out any of the techniques of humane killing described below, death must be confirmed. This is to ensure that animals do not recover unexpectedly after an attempt has been made to kill them. The methods that should be used are:

  1. Confirmation of permanent cessation of the circulation – normally confirmed by feeling for a heartbeat.
  2. Destruction of the brain.
  3. Dislocation of the neck.
  4. Exsanguination (for example by cutting one or more major blood vessels).
  5. Confirming the onset of rigor mortis – this process usually occurs 30-60 minutes after death and results in the limbs, neck and torso becoming stiff due to muscle rigidity.
  6. Instantaneous destruction of the body in a macerator.

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Updated on 16th June 2021

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