Implementation of the Revised American Veterinary Medical Association Guidelines on Euthanasia

Notice Number: NOT-OD-08-005

Key Dates
Release Date: October 12, 2007

Issued by
Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare (OLAW), Office of Extramural Research (http://grants.nih.gov/grants/olaw/olaw.htm)

This Notice provides guidance to Public Health Service (PHS) awardee institutions and Institutional Animal Care and Use Committees (IACUCs) regarding implementation of the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) Guidelines on Euthanasia.

Background

The PHS Policy on Humane Care and Use of Laboratory Animals requires that Institutional Animal Care and Use Committees (IACUCs) reviewing PHS-conducted or supported research projects determine that the methods of euthanasia used will be consistent with the recommendations of the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) Panel on Euthanasia, unless a deviation is justified for scientific reasons in writing by the investigator.  The PHS Policy is applicable to all PHS-conducted or supported activities (including research, research training, experimentation or biological testing or related purposes) involving live vertebrate animals.  In addition, USDA Animal Care Policy #3 issued July 17, 2007, and applicable to many PHS awardee institutions, also requires that methods of euthanasia are to be consistent with the most current AVMA Guidelines on Euthanasia, unless a deviation is justified for scientific reasons.

Implementation of the Revised AVMA Guidelines on Euthanasia

The AVMA has issued an update to the 2000 Report of the Panel on Euthanasia with a new title, AVMA Guidelines on Euthanasia, and posted it at:  http://www.avma.org/resources/euthanasia.pdf. The revisions are limited to the addition of a physical method (maceration) for euthanasia of chicks, poults, and pipped eggs.

The Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare encourages PHS Assured institutions to begin using the updated AVMA Guidelines when reviewing projects as soon as possible and as applicable, and expects all PHS Assured institutions to use the 2007 Guidelines after November 1, 2007.  Previously approved projects undergoing continuing review in accordance with IV.C.5.of the PHS Policy, which requires a complete de novo review at least once every three years, must be reviewed in light of the new AVMA Guidelines after November 1, 2007.

The USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), Animal Care has reviewed and concurs with the guidance provided in this notice.

Inquiries

For questions or further information, contact:

Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare
National Institutes of Health
Rockledge 1, Suite 360, MSC 7982
6705 Rockledge Drive
Bethesda, MD  20892-7982
phone:  301-496-7163
fax:  301-402-2803
e-mail:  olaw@od.nih.gov


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