Cervical dislocation is a common method of animal euthanasia, 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.
The separation occurs 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. The University of Iowa and some veterinary associations, consider the technique as an ethically accepted method for terminating the life of small rodents such as rats, mice, squirrels, etc.