Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

U.S. Humane Society Challenges Scientists To End Research Animal Pain And Distress By 2020

Date:
May 1, 2000
Source:
The Humane Society Of The United States
Summary:
The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), the nation's largest animal protection organization, has called on scientists and government officials to join the organization's efforts to work towards ending pain and distress in the 20 million or more animals used annually in research by 2020.

WASHINGTON (April 27, 2000) - At a news conference here today, The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), the nation's largest animal protection organization, called on scientists and government officials to join the organization's efforts to work towards ending pain and distress in the 20 million or more animals used annually in research by 2020.

"Congress amended the Animal Welfare Act in 1985 in large part to limit pain and distress in laboratory animals," said Andrew Rowan, Ph.D., senior vice president for The HSUS. "Fifteen years later, the United States has made some progress towards this goal, but much more can and should be done. It's time for animal protectionists, government officials, scientists, and animal caregivers to make an urgent priority of working together to define, document and end pain and distress, while continuing vigorous scientific inquiry."

HSUS researchers analyzed reports issued to the U.S. Department of Agriculture by facilities that conduct animal research and found evidence that pain and distress are under-reported and reported inconsistently. In a report issued today, The HSUS concluded that:

Research institutions in the United States in general fail to report or under-report research animal pain and distress. The top 50 U.S. non-profit research institutions (in terms of NIH funding) reported that a total of less than one percent of animals used in research were subjected to unalleviated pain and distress (defined by the U.S. Department of Agriculture as Column E) during 1996 and 1997. The HSUS found specific examples where USDA reports and journal articles appear to present contradictory information about pain and distress. In each case, the research institutions reported zero animals in Column E during certain years. Paradoxically, published reports of research at those institutions that was most likely conducted during the relevant years describe procedures and conditions that almost certainly caused significant pain and distress. No mention is made in any of these reports of using drugs to alleviate pain or distress.

Wide variations exist between states in reporting the numbers of animals used in painful procedures without the administration of pain-relieving drugs. For comparison, Maryland is one of the top states in the country for the use of animals in research; facilities in Maryland report that 6.5 percent of animals used in painful procedures in 1996 did not receive pain-relieving drugs. Yet that same year, facilities in Virginia reported that 0.5 percent of animals used in painful procedures did not receive pain-relieving drugs. Iowa (63.7 percent), Kansas (40.2 percent) and Washington State (32.3 percent) were among the states reporting high numbers of animals in Column E. These variations are unexplained and are most likely due to variations in thoroughness and accuracy rather than actual differences in procedures.

Nations that have more stringent reporting requirements report much higher proportions of animals used in painful procedures. For example, in 1997 eight percent of animals used in the U.S. were reported to experience pain and/or distress. By comparison, in The Netherlands, where government officials have made a concerted effort to attempt to classify research animal use by pain category, 46.0 percent of animals experienced moderate to severe pain and/or distress in 1994. In Canada, 28.8 percent of the animals used in research in 1996 were reported to experience moderate to severe pain and/or distress.

"Surveys show that the public's support for animal research drops substantially when the animals experience pain and distress. Despite this public concern and existing laws that seek to limit pain and distress, progress towards ending pain and distress has been disappointingly slow," said Martin Stephens, Ph.D., vice president of animal research issues for The HSUS. "The Humane Society of the United States urges scientists, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the National Institutes of Health to join us in urgently working to end pain and distress by 2020."

In an initiative launched last year, The HSUS outlined several steps towards ending all significant pain and distress in research animals by 2020. They include:

* Develop a technical report on animal pain and distress. An international group of experts convened by The HSUS and including laboratory animal veterinarians, animal behaviorists, physiologists, neurologists, veterinary anesthesiologists, philosophers and others will prepare a comprehensive report to be completed this year.

* Work with Institutional Animal Care and Use Committees, which have a mandate to minimize pain and distress under the Animal Welfare Act, to cooperate and collaborate on efforts to end pain and distress.

* Encourage the USDA to revise its pain and distress reporting system to allow discrimination between little or no pain and/or distress, moderate pain and/or distress, and severe pain and/or distress.

* Encourage the development and implementation of "best practice" guidelines covering specific techniques and research areas by urging institutions to share their efforts to reduce pain and distress.

* Encourage the inclusion of mice, rats and birds among the animals regulated under the Animal Welfare Act. Encourage increased funding for efforts to minimize and end pain and distress.

"It is widely recognized that poor animal welfare can confound scientific results," concluded Rowan. "Eliminating animal pain and distress can therefore benefit science as well as animal welfare."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by The Humane Society Of The United States. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

The Humane Society Of The United States. "U.S. Humane Society Challenges Scientists To End Research Animal Pain And Distress By 2020." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 1 May 2000. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/05/000501075556.htm>.
The Humane Society Of The United States. (2000, May 1). U.S. Humane Society Challenges Scientists To End Research Animal Pain And Distress By 2020. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/05/000501075556.htm
The Humane Society Of The United States. "U.S. Humane Society Challenges Scientists To End Research Animal Pain And Distress By 2020." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/05/000501075556.htm (accessed July 22, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Michigan Plant's Goal: Flower and Die

Michigan Plant's Goal: Flower and Die

AP (July 22, 2014) An 80-year-old agave plant, which is blooming for the first and only time at a University of Michigan conservatory, will die when it's done (July 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
San Diego Zoo Welcomes New, Rare Rhino Calf

San Diego Zoo Welcomes New, Rare Rhino Calf

Reuters - US Online Video (July 21, 2014) An endangered black rhino baby is the newest resident at the San Diego Zoo. Sasha Salama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Shark Sightings a Big Catch for Cape Tourism

Shark Sightings a Big Catch for Cape Tourism

AP (July 21, 2014) A rise in shark sightings along the shores of Chatham, Massachusetts is driving a surge of eager vacationers to the beach town looking to catch a glimpse of a great white. (July 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
$23.6 Billion Awarded To Widow In Smoking Lawsuit

$23.6 Billion Awarded To Widow In Smoking Lawsuit

Newsy (July 20, 2014) Cynthia Robinson claims R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company hid the health and addiction risks of its products, leading to the death of her husband in 1996. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins