Euthanasia of reptiles

Euthanasia of reptiles
Peer reviewed


I would like to draw to the attention of the veterinary profession an issue which has recently been under revision in England. I refer to the euthanasia of reptiles and, more specifically, the unsuitablility of decapitation as a humane method. In England decapitiation has been recommended as a method of euthanasia for some years. Decapitation has certain practical advantages over other methods in that, where post-mortem examinations are required, the sometimes undersirable consequences of chemicals being introduced into the animals could be avoided. Subsequently, correspondence between members of the veterinary profession and myself have resulted in the reconsideration of this matter and an announcement to the effect. Since these publications did not offer a broad statement with the announcement. I would like to briefly explain why I think this method should be more widely condemned. The repitilian metabolism is renowned for its ability to function at a low rate. It is therefore reasonable that their nervous tissue is far more tolerant of a reduction in oxygen supply than…

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