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Animal suffering: unknowable?

Researchers in the UK should report more details than they currently do about how much their lab animals are suffering, according to recent recommendations by a UK working group. But one prominent pain researcher thinks such requirements are useless. Last week, a working group made up of research scientists, veterinary surgeons, and animal care technicians, representing the Animal Procedures Committee and Lab Animals Science Association, released a report calling for more stringent reporting o

Andrea Gawrylewski
Researchers in the UK should report more details than they currently do about how much their lab animals are suffering, according to recent recommendations by a UK working group. But one prominent pain researcher thinks such requirements are useless. Last week, a working group made up of research scientists, veterinary surgeons, and animal care technicians, representing the Animal Procedures Committee and Lab Animals Science Association, released a report calling for more stringent reporting of animal suffering in research. Currently, the UK researchers must apply to the government for licenses to conduct procedures on animals, and in the licensing process must declare whether animals will experience mild, moderate, or severe suffering during the experimental procedures. The working group submitted a preliminary version of their recommendations in 2006, in response to a 2001 House of Lords committee request for the issue of animals in research to be examined. This is the final...

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