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Humane endpoints: Animal technologists and veterinarians

Close up of laboratory rat © RSPCA

In order for humane endpoints to be used effectively there needs to be a specific welfare assessment protocol, tailored to the model or procedure, that will enable the endpoint to be rapidly identified and acted upon. Although UK legislation clearly states that the responsibility for the implementation of humane endpoints sits with the personal licensee, animal technologists or veterinarians are well placed to help identify appropriate criteria for humane endpoints and to detect when animals are close to an endpoint. It is imperative that there is a pre-agreed plan of action between animal technologists, the veterinarian and the researcher regarding what is done when the humane endpoints are approached, and in all cases the default situation should be to ameliorate an animal's suffering as soon as possible.

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