Public statement: guidelines for the assessment and management of pain in rodents and rabbits

J Am Assoc Lab Anim Sci. 2007 Mar;46(2):97-108.


The ACLAM Analgesia Task Force was appointed by ACLAM President Diane Gaertner in 2003. The charge to the Task Force was to develop guidelines that could be used by veterinarians, scientists and IACUCs in helping to provide appropriate assessment and management of pain in rodents, with the understanding that ultimately the clinical veterinarian on site at the institution must make decisions relevant to a specific animal or animals and/or protocol. The guidelines were not to be developed as, and should not be used as, requirements. To complete its charge the Task Force reviewed and cited, in a comprehensive manner, available data-based literature in writing the paper. In the course of completion of the document, ACLAM Board of Directors (BOD) reviewed an early draft and at that time also appointed 3 ACLAM diplomates with particular expertise in assessment and management of pain in rodents to act as reviewers of the draft. The Task Force members responded to the critiques and comments submitted by both the BOD and the 3 reviewers. This revised draft was then placed on the ACLAM website for comments from the entire College. The draft was well received by responding diplomates. Comments from the membership were reviewed and discussed by the Task Force, and most were incorporated into the final draft manuscript. The draft then received final review and editing by the ACLAM Publications Committee Chairman, and was accepted in the format presented here. Despite this extensive vetting process through ACLAM, readers should nonetheless be aware that because this document represents the approved statement of an AALAS affiliate organization, it has not undergone the usual JAALAS peer review process. I would like to acknowledge the efforts of the Task Force and the leadership of ACLAM for supporting this comprehensive and informative synthesis. The document should serve as a resource to the research community for years to come.

Publication types

  • Guideline

MeSH terms

  • Analgesics / administration & dosage
  • Analgesics / therapeutic use
  • Animals
  • Laboratory Animal Science / methods
  • Pain / drug therapy
  • Pain / prevention & control
  • Pain / veterinary*
  • Pain Measurement / methods
  • Pain Measurement / standards
  • Pain Measurement / veterinary*
  • Rabbits / physiology*
  • Rodentia / physiology*


  • Analgesics