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J Exp Biol. 2012 Dec 15;215(Pt 24):4237-41. doi: 10.1242/jeb.074997. Epub 2012 Sep 20.

An effective method for terrestrial arthropod euthanasia.

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  • 1Venomtech Limited, Kent Enterprise Hub, University of Kent, Canterbury CT2 7NJ, Kent, UK.

Abstract

As scientific understanding of invertebrate life increases, so does the concern for how to end that life in an effective way that minimises (potential) suffering and is also safe for those carrying out the procedure. There is increasing debate on the most appropriate euthanasia methods for invertebrates as their use in experimental research and zoological institutions grows. Their popularity as pet species has also led to an increase in the need for greater veterinary understanding. Through the use of a local injection of potassium chloride (KCl) initially developed for use in American lobsters, this paper describes a safe and effective method for euthanasia in terrestrial invertebrates. Initial work focused on empirically determining the dose for cockroaches, which was then extrapolated to other arthropod species. For this method of euthanasia, we propose the term 'targeted hyperkalosis' to describe death through terminal depolarisation of the thoracic ganglia as a result of high potassium concentration.

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