Unit of competency details

ACMACR405A - Euthanase sick, injured or unwanted pound animals (Release 1)


Usage recommendation:
Is superseded by and equivalent to ACMACR405 - Assist with the euthanasia of sick, injured or unwanted pound animalsUpdated to meet Standards for Training Packages Title changed to reflect application of unit 28/Nov/2017
Supersedes RUV4205A - Euthanase sick, injured or unwanted pound animalsUnit equivalent RUV4205A 10/Nov/2010

Release Status:
ReleaseRelease date
1 1 (this release) 11/Nov/2010


SchemeCodeClassification value
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 050105 Animal Husbandry  

Classification history

SchemeCodeClassification valueStart dateEnd date
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 050105 Animal Husbandry  11/Nov/2010 
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Modification History

Not applicable.

Unit Descriptor

Unit descriptor 

This unit of competency covers the process of euthanasing sick, injured or unwanted pound animals in a humane way that complies with safe operating practices and with ethical, welfare and legislative requirements.

Licensing, legislative, regulatory or certification requirements may apply to this unit. Therefore, it will be necessary to check with the relevant state or territory regulators for current licensing, legislative or regulatory requirements before undertaking this unit.

Application of the Unit

Application of the unit 

This unit is applicable to those working in the animal control and regulation sectors where it may be necessary to euthanase sick, injured or unwanted pound animals. Euthanasing animals requires knowledge of occupational health and safety (OHS) regulations, associated animal welfare legislation, safe practices in euthanasing animals, organisational standard operating procedures, detailed pharmacology of specific drugs, routine procedural techniques and handling of animals.

In addition to legal and ethical responsibilities, all units of competency in the ACM10 Animal Care and Management Training Package have the requirement for animals to be handled gently and calmly. The individual is required to exhibit appropriate care for animals so that stress and discomfort is minimised.

Notes :

Appropriate licences are required for those involved in training and assessment against this unit . Relevant records must be kept in accordance with legislation and standard operating procedures .

This unit does not cover the euthanasia of livestock .

Licensing/Regulatory Information

Not applicable.


Prerequisite units 

Employability Skills Information

Employability skills 

This unit contains employability skills.

Elements and Performance Criteria Pre-Content

Elements describe the essential outcomes of a unit of competency.

Performance criteria describe the performance needed to demonstrate achievement of the element. Where bold italicised text is used, further information is detailed in the required skills and knowledge section and the range statement. Assessment of performance is to be consistent with the evidence guide.

Elements and Performance Criteria



1. Prepare to euthanase an animal under supervision

1.1. Animal intended for euthanasia is identified in accordance with organisational policies and procedures.

1.2. Method  selected for euthanasia is consistent with organisational policies and procedures and legislative requirements.

1.3. Equipment and materials  required for euthanasia are kept and prepared in accordance with organisational procedures and legislative requirements.

1.4. Appropriate human assistance for the procedure is determined and gathered.

1.5. Hazards associated with the euthanasia are identified in accordance with OHS  procedures.

1.6. Licences and permits required to conduct euthanasia are reviewed with the supervisor and obtained as required.

2. Carry out euthanasia of an animal

2.1. Personal protective and safety equipment is used in accordance with OHS standards and statutory requirements .

2.2. Equipment is handled and transported safely at all times in accordance with statutory requirements and industry practices.

2.3. Animal is physically restrained in a way that minimises its pain and distress.

2.4. Euthanasia method is applied in accordance with the requirements of the task.

2.5. Euthanasia procedure is monitored to ensure that the animal's death is rapid and without complications or undue suffering.

2.6. Organisational policies and procedures and relevant legislative requirements are followed.

3. Carry out euthanasia of an animal

3.1. Death of animal is confirmed.

3.2. Carcass, if required for research or post-mortem examination, is handled in accordance with organisational policies and procedures and legislative requirements.

3.3. Animal carcass and biological waste not required are disposed of in accordance with organisational policies and procedures and legislative requirements.

3.4. Animal carcass is handled and moved in accordance with OHS requirements.

3.5. Equipment and materials are disposed of or are decontaminated, cleaned and stored in accordance with standard operating procedures.

3.6. Records  relating to the euthanased animal are updated in accordance with organisational requirements.

Required Skills and Knowledge


This section describes the skills and knowledge required for this unit.

Required skills 

  • apply injection methods and techniques
  • calculate solutions, dilutions, body weights and dose rates
  • clean and decontaminate equipment, materials and facilities
  • complete relevant workplace documentation, using appropriate equipment, to record and report information regarding euthanasia of animals
  • employ safe, humane and environmentally responsible organisational systems and procedures when working with and handling animals
  • follow safe work practices
  • maintain the highest standards of hygiene and infection control to reduce the risk of infection or cross-infection
  • monitor animal health and behaviour
  • recognise stress in animals
  • use different euthanasia equipment and materials including captive bolt, firearms and lethal injections
  • literacy skills to read and follow organisational policies and procedures, including OHS, animal welfare, infection control and waste management; follow sequenced written instructions; record accurately and legibly information collected; and select and apply procedures to a range of defined tasks
  • oral communication skills/language to fulfil the job role as specified by the organisation, including questioning, active listening, asking for clarification and consulting with or seeking advice from supervisor
  • numeracy skills to estimate, calculate and record routine workplace measures
  • interpersonal skills to work with others and relate to people from a range of cultural, social and religious backgrounds and with a range of physical and mental abilities
  • problem-solving skills to use available resources and prioritise daily tasks
  • use safe manual handling techniques and/or equipment
  • use safe waste handling and disposal procedures.

Required knowledge 

  • anatomy and physiology of animals commonly euthanased, especially the routes of administration, life signs and aiming points for firearms and captive bolts
  • boundaries of professional behaviour in dealing with own distress and grief in the workplace
  • equipment and drugs commonly used for euthanasia
  • methods of euthanasia and their suitability for a range of species
  • principles of animal welfare and ethics
  • relevant legislation and codes of practice relating to OHS and animal control and regulation requirements
  • relevant state or territory legislation covering the use of therapeutic and controlled substances
  • standard operating procedures relating to restraining, handling, euthanasing and disposing of animals
  • standard operating procedures relating to using, storing and transporting equipment and drugs used when conducting euthanasia of animals.

Evidence Guide


The Evidence Guide provides advice on assessment and must be read in conjunction with the performance criteria, required skills and knowledge, range statement and the Assessment Guidelines for the Training Package.

Overview of assessment 

Critical aspects for assessment and evidence required to demonstrate competency in this unit 

The evidence required to demonstrate competence in this unit must be relevant to workplace operations and satisfy all of the requirements of the performance criteria, required skills and knowledge and the range statement of this unit. Assessors should ensure that candidates can:

  • select suitable method of euthanasia according to size and number of animals and legislative constraints in consultation with supervisor
  • select and prepare appropriate equipment and material
  • follow safe work practices to minimise risks to animals, self and others
  • euthanase animals in a humane, rapid and appropriate manner and confirm death
  • dispose of animal carcass and biological waste not required for research or post-mortem purposes, in accordance with legislative requirements
  • decontaminate, clean and store equipment and materials or dispose of accordingly
  • access and use management systems to keep and maintain accurate records.

The skills and knowledge required to euthanase sick, injured or unwanted pound animals must be transferable to a range of work environments and contexts and include the ability to deal with unplanned events.

Context of and specific resources for assessment 

Assessment of this unit is to be practical in nature and will be most appropriately assessed in an animal control and regulation workplace or in a situation that reproduces normal work conditions.

There must be access to animals to be euthanased and the appropriate equipment and/or resources to enable one to demonstrate competence.

Method of assessment 

To ensure consistency in one's performance, competency should be demonstrated, to industry defined standards, on more than one occasion over a period of time in order to cover a variety of circumstances, cases and responsibilities and over a number of assessment activities.

The assessment strategy must include practical skills assessment. Suggested strategies for this unit are:

  • written and/or oral assessment of candidate's required knowledge
  • observed, documented and first-hand testimonial evidence of candidate's application of practical tasks
  • simulation exercises that reproduce normal work conditions
  • third-party evidence
  • workplace documentation.

This unit may be assessed in a holistic way with other units of competency relevant to the industry sector, workplace and job role.

Guidance information for assessment 

Assessment methods should reflect workplace demands (e.g. literacy and numeracy demands) and the needs of particular target groups (e.g. people with disabilities, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, women, people with a language background other than English, youth and people from low socioeconomic backgrounds).

Range Statement


The range statement relates to the unit of competency as a whole. It allows for different work environments and situations that may affect performance. Bold italicised wording, if used in the performance criteria, is detailed below. Essential operating conditions that may be present with training and assessment (depending on the work situation, needs of the candidate, accessibility of the item, and local industry and regional contexts) may also be included.

Methods  of euthanasia covered by this unit of competency include:

  • captive bolt
  • firearm
  • lethal injection
  • premedication drugs (e.g. sedation), as well as drugs for euthanasia, are used when appropriate and may include:
  • barbiturate overdose techniques by intravenous, intraperitoneal or intracardiac injection.

Equipment and materials  to conduct euthanasia may include:

  • captive bolts
  • clippers
  • disposal units for used or expendable equipment and materials
  • drugs
  • firearms
  • needles
  • restraining devices
  • scales
  • syringes
  • syringe pole for distance injections
  • stainless steel work surfaces
  • rubber matting or similar non-slip surface.

The use of projectile injection devices is not included in this unit of competency .

OHS  risks when working with animals may include:

  • animal bites, kicks, scratches and crush injuries
  • biological hazardous waste and sharps disposal
  • handling of chemicals and medicines
  • gas leakage
  • inhalation of aerosol particles
  • intraocular contamination
  • manual handling, including carrying, lifting and shifting
  • needle pricks and cuts from other sharps
  • release of infective agents (animal and human)
  • slippery or uneven work surfaces
  • zoonoses.

Statutory requirements  that may impact on the euthanasia of animals may include:

  • legislation:
  • Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Acts
  • Australian Code of Practice for the Care and Use of Animals for Scientific Purposes
  • Fisheries Acts
  • Quarantine Acts
  • Wildlife Acts
  • local government regulations covering the transport and disposal of hazardous wastes
  • organisational standard operating procedures.

Records  requirements may include:

  • date, time and operator
  • animal description (e.g. age, breed/type, sex, colour, coat, size, weight and unique features)
  • microchip search result
  • animal history, including the interval held
  • source location.

Unit Sector(s)

Unit sector 

Animal control and regulation

Competency field

Competency field 

Co-requisite units

Co-requisite units