Pain management standards in the eighth edition of the Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals

J Am Assoc Lab Anim Sci. 2012 May;51(3):322-8.


The eighth edition Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals sets standards for diverse laboratory animal care and use practices. It frames its standards as performance, engineering, and practice standards, with a strong emphasis on performance standards, allowing for multiple routes to clearly defined outcomes. Standards intended to be upheld rigorously are indicated through the use of must in the description, and those accommodating more flexibility are indicated through may and should statements. With respect to pain management standards, a fourth type of standard-the jurisdictional standard-has been prevalent through all 8 editions of the Guide. Under jurisdictional standards, specific methods and outcomes for measuring, preventing, or alleviating pain are not detailed, but the various jurisdictions of veterinarian, investigator, and IACUC are elaborated. Although data on pain management in laboratory animals has expanded greatly since the 1996 Guide, the eighth (2011) edition does not contain major new standards or guidance regarding animal pain management. Requirements for veterinary and IACUC involvement remain as in prior editions, and the duty of veterinarians and scientists to stay abreast of new developments is expected to drive refinement of animal pain management institution by institution. The current article details selected specific pain management standards in the 2011 Guide, lists topics in pain management for which the Guide does not set clear standards, and suggests possible standards for those topics.

MeSH terms

  • Animal Care Committees
  • Animal Welfare / standards*
  • Animals
  • Animals, Laboratory*
  • Guidelines as Topic
  • Laboratory Animal Science / standards*
  • Pain Management / standards
  • Pain Management / veterinary*