Humane Endpoints and Euthanasia


Humane endpoints are chosen to minimize or terminate the pain or distress of the experimental animals via euthanasia rather than waiting for their deaths as the endpoint.


State Laws Governing Euthanasia

American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA).

A summary of statutory and regulatory provisions addressing the euthanasia of companion animals.

AVMA Guidelines on Euthanasia (PDF | 160 KB)

American Veterinary Medical Association.

This 2013 report provides recommendations to give veterinarians guidance in relieving pain and suffering of animals that are to be euthanatized. (NOTE: This documents updates the previous guidelines published in 2007).

Humane Endpoints for Animals Used in Biomedical Research and Testing

ILAR Journal.

This issue of the ILAR Journal (V41(2), 2000) presents articles discussing the use of humane endpoints in research using animals.

Humane Endpoints in Laboratory Animal Experimentation

3Rs-Centre Utrecht Life Sciences.

A website with information on humane endpoints and related aspects in rodent experiments.

Newcastle Consensus Meeting on Carbon Dioxide Euthanasia of Laboratory Animals, February 2006 (PDF | 123KB)

In February 2006 a meeting was held at the University of Newcastle in the United Kingdom to bring together scientists who have examined CO2 as a euthanasia agent.

Use of Humane Endpoints in Biomedical Research

Working Group on Humane Endpoints.

The proceedings of two international conferences that address issues relating to the recognition and assessment of adverse effects in animals, and the determination, validation and acceptance of humane endpoints.

Pain Management and Humane Endpoints Meeting

The Johns Hopkins Center for Alternatives to Animal Testing.

From a CAAT, NIH, NAS conference held in November 1998. Topics include philosophy, assessment, alleviation, and policies for the regulation of pain.

Choosing an Appropriate Endpoint in Experiments Using Animals for Research, Teaching and Testing (PDF | 558 KB)

Canadian Council on Animal Care.

These guidelines define endpoints and discuss the joint responsibility of animal care committees with the investigator and the veterinary staff to ensure that the earliest endpoints consistent with producing reliable data are considered, identified and used.

Refinement Alternative Resources

USDA. NAL. Animal Welfare Information Center.

This page provides links to more information about refinement alternatives.

Animal Welfare Policy Statements

American Veterinary Medical Association.

Position statements covering recommendations on antimicrobial use, euthanasia, abuse, pain, and other important animal welfare concerns.

Guidelines for Endpoints in Animal Study Proposals (PDF | 44 KB)

DHHS. NIH. Office of Animal Care and Use.

This document states that selection of appropriate endpoints requires careful consideration of the study's scientific requirements, possible pain, distress or illness the research animals may experience, the most likely time course and progression of those adverse effects, and the earliest most predictive indicators of present or impending adverse effects.

Animal Euthanasia, 2007

USDA. NAL. Animal Welfare Information Center.

This publication contains citations pertinent to the humane euthanasia of animals. It is divided into 8 groups as follows: Aquatic Animals, Birds, Dogs and Cats, General, Livestock, Reptiles, Rodents and Rabbits, Wildlife: Captive and Free Ranging.