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Policy#: 529-344

Title: ANIMAL USE PROCEDURE: Guillotine Maintenance and Training

Effective: 2/12/2024


I: Background

Sharpened guillotines are critical to ensure animal welfare, especially when used to euthanize unanesthetized animals. Sharpened guillotines are also critical to ensure smooth function for investigator safety.

II: Policy

a) Maintenance:

  • Guillotines must be kept clean and the mechanism tested regularly (testing consists of moving the mechanism up and down and ensuring smooth action). 
  • Guillotines must be oiled yearly or earlier if the movement is not smooth. 
  • Blades must be sharpened or replaced every three years or earlier if rust is present.
  • The guillotine must be labeled (sharpie is acceptable) with the date and action (sharpened or replaced).
b) Training:
  • PIs are responsible for ensuring lab members are trained in the appropriate use of the guillotine.
  • Appropriate placement of the animal and smooth operation of the instrument are necessary to ensure animal welfare. 
  • Careful use of the instrument in order to avoid movement/tipping during use is important to ensure the safety of the operator’s hands and fingers. 
  • PIs should document this training.


Created 11/4/2019; Reviewed 02/12/2024