USDA Policy #11 defines painful procedures “as any procedure that would reasonably be expected to cause more than slight or momentary pain and/or distress in a human being to which that procedure is applied.” Furthermore, USDA Policy #11 stipulates the following:
Individual animals that do not experience pain/distress from
testing procedures should be reported in column C.
Individual animals experiencing pain/distress which is alleviated with anesthetics, analgesics,
sedatives and/or tranquilizers should be reported in column D. This category
Note: In some cases where pain relieving drugs cannot be used the IACUC may allow the animals to be assigned to category D, if the animals are euthanized as soon as clinical signs of pain and distress are recognized.
The examples provided below are representative of the types of procedures or conditions that correlate with a particular category. The example list is not intended to be all inclusive, rather a guidance tool to assist the IACUC.
Pain or distress appropriately
relieved by analgesia,
tranquilization or anesthesia.
Unrelieved pain or distress
Animals (breeders, offspring that cannot be used because of improper genotype1 and/or gender, or other animals) being maintained without any research manipulation, prior to euthanasia or transfer to another protocol.
Observation of animal behavior in the wild without manipulating the animal or its environment.
Physical restraint and preventative medical procedures such as routine vaccination
Toxicological or microbiological testing, cancer research or infectious disease research that requires continuation until clinical symptoms are evident or death occurs. Experiment induction of disease (i.e., Diabetes, Epilepsy, Parkinson’s, etc.) including metabolic and nutritional diseases or disease resulting from exposure to toxicants
Mutants with chronic pain or debilitation which is not relieved with analgesics or by appropriate intervention.
Food or water deprivation that exceeds ordinary pre-surgical preparation or is stressful to the animal
Application of noxious stimuli (i.e. electrical shock) that cannot be avoided or escaped
Restraint using paralyzing or immobilizing drugs without anesthesia or prolonged restraint for long periods of time (days to weeks)
Exposure to abnormal or extreme environmental conditions