Investigator Responsibility for Euthanasia

Principal investigators (PIs) are responsible for the appropriate euthanasia of their research animals. The animal euthanasia method(s) proposed by PIs on all protocol forms are reviewed for appropriateness by the Institutional Animal Care & Use Committee (IACUC). Once a protocol form is approved, use of the approved euthanasia method is the responsibility of the PI and/or their research staff members.

Please be informed that both the IACUC and the Lab Animal Science Center (LASC) expect that PIs and/or their research staff members will provide appropriate and timely euthanasia to all their animals.

Training in delivery of appropriate methods of euthanasia is available through the LASC: IACUC’s Euthanasia of Rodents Policy. Any PI and/or research staff member who requires training in delivery of the approved method of euthanasia to research animals needs to contact the LASC office (617-358-4086) to obtain training. A record of this training will be added to the relevant protocol form files.

The PI’s responsibility for providing animal euthanasia does not in any way affect the authority of the attending veterinary staff to provide euthanasia to any animal when deemed necessary based on their professional judgment. The PI will typically be notified before such action is taken.

Please contact the BUMC IACUC or LASC office if there are any questions or concerns regarding this policy.