Cervical dislocation is a common method of animal euthanasia. It refers to a technique used in physical euthanasia of small animals by applying pressure to the neck and dislocating the spinal column from the skull or brain. The aim is to quickly separate the spinal cord from the brain so as to provide the animal with a fast and painless death; however, research on this method has been shown it to not consistently concuss the brain and cause instantaneous insensibility.
Apply firm pressure at the base of the skull, sharply pinching and twisting between thumb and forefinger. At the same time, pull backward on the tail. This severs the spinal cord at the base of the brain or within the cervical spine area (the upper third of the neck). According to the Canadian Council on Animal Care (CCAC), cervical dislocation is normally only conducted on small animals.
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- University of Iowa. "Euthanasia Archived January 26, 2008, at the Wayback Machine." Accessed 15 August 2007
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