Alternatives to Carbon Dioxide—Taking Responsibility for Humanely Ending the Life of Animals
Department of Clinical Veterinary Medicine, Section of Anesthesia and Analgesia, Vetsuisse Faculty, University of Berne, Laenggassstrasse 124, 3012 Bern, Switzerland
Directorate Swiss 3R Competence Centre, Hochschulstrasse 6, 3012 Bern, Switzerland
Division of Laboratory Animal Welfare, Federal Food Safety and Veterinary Office, Schwarzenburgstrasse 155, 3003 Bern, Switzerland
Division of International Affairs, Federal Food Safety and Veterinary Office, Schwarzenburgstrasse 155, 3003 Bern, Switzerland
Division of Food Hygiene and Nutrition, Federal Food Safety and Veterinary Office, Schwarzenburgstrasse 155, 3003 Bern, Switzerland
Institute of Animal Welfare and Animal Husbandry, Friedrich-Loeffler-Institut, Dörnbergstraße 25/27, 29223 Celle, Germany
Department of Clinical and Diagnostic Services, Section of Anaesthesiology, Vetsuisse Faculty, University of Zurich, Winterthurerstrasse 258c, 8057 Zurich, Switzerland
Universities Federation for Animal Welfare (UFAW), The Old School, Brewhouse Hill, Wheathampstead, Hertfordshire AL4 8AN, UK
Animal Welfare Program, University of British Colombia, 2357 Main Mall, Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z4, Canada
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 27 June 2019 / Revised: 16 July 2019 / Accepted: 19 July 2019 / Published: 24 July 2019
Carbon dioxide has long been considered one of the better methods for euthanizing laboratory rodents because it allows termination of several animals at one time, does not require handling of the animal, is easy to use, is inexpensive, and is environmentally friendly. Research, though, has shown that this gas is aversive to rodents and that it may be inhumane to expose them to this gas while they are conscious. Therefore, the Swiss Federal Food Safety and Veterinary Office has set out to find a suitable replacement and organized a meeting that included representatives and experts of the different stakeholders involved in this process in order to find a solution. The conclusion of this meeting was that a replacement is required, and the next step would be to draft a research strategy to find a suitable replacement.