Standardization of necropsy techniques is important for consistency and comparability between animals and dose groups. It also aids in minimizing the amount of autolysis that may occur during necropsy, which is particularly important in susceptible organs like the liver, pancreas, kidney and especially the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. An abundance of resident bacteria along the tract leave organs vulnerable to tissue destruction caused by advanced autolysis. Although there will be some low-level, inevitable autolysis that occurs immediately post-mortem, an experienced veterinary pathologist will recognize these intrinsic, enzyme-induced changes and will be able to evaluate the tissues as planned. However, more pronounced artifacts that occur with subsequent, bacterial-derived autolysis could make assessment of pathological tissue changes next to impossible. Precautions should be employed to avoid this detrimental, secondary autolysis during the necropsy; the most effective of which is to shorten the interval between time of death and tissue fixation.