Rodent Euthanasia

Following are Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee and Department of Animal Resources policies for rodent euthanasia.

Rodent Euthanasia Procedures

The Department of Animal Resources staff members will perform euthanasia of rodents as a service to investigators. Routine euthanasia of rodents will normally be performed by methods such as carbon dioxide exposure followed by a secondary method such as cervical dislocation or thoracotomy. The most common example of rodents in this category are excess animals produced from breeding colonies.

Procedures to Request Rodent Euthanasia

Complete a Euthanasia Request Form and submit it to the Department of Animal Resources in the facility in which the animals are housed or to the Animal Resources Director’s office. Additional forms are available in each animal housing facility. Staff members requesting euthanasia must complete the request form and place a sticker on the cage card(s) for animals to be euthanized.

Competency Evaluation of Personnel Performing Euthanasia

Competency evaluation is now required for all personnel who perform euthanasia. An Animal Resources veterinary staff member will insure competency evaluation of the methods used. Laboratory staff members using animal facility carbon dioxide chambers and carcass disposal freezers must sign in on log sheets when they have euthanized rodents and placed them in these freezers. A member of the Animal Resources staff will contact these individuals to observe the methods used and insure competency. Newly trained individuals taking the online training courses for animal users will receive training and competency evaluation following completion of the online courses if rodent euthanasia will be part of their laboratory duties. In addition, if you would like to have your staff members evaluated for competency individually or as a group, you may contact the contact the DAR and ask for an appointment with a veterinarian.


There are no charges for training and competency evaluation in rodent euthanasia procedures.


Please feel free to contact the DAR if you have any questions regarding animal euthanasia procedures.

  • Quick Links

  • Department of Animal Resources

    Center for Health Professions 234
    Health Sciences Campus
    University of Southern California
    Los Angeles, California 90033-9004

    Main Phone: (323) 442-1689
    Main Fax: (323) 442-2768