Recognition and Assessment

Institute for Laboratory Animal Research (ILAR).

The use of animals in research adheres to scientific and ethical principles that promote humane care and practice. Scientific advances in our understanding of animal physiology and behavior often require theories to be revised and standards of practice to be updated to improve laboratory animal welfare.

National Centre for the Replacement, Refinement & Reduction of Animals in Research (NC3Rs).

Changes in facial expression provide a reliable and rapid means of assessing pain in animals. NC3Rs provides training manuals, lists of references, and posters of grimace scales developed for the laboratory:

International Veterinary Academy of Pain Management.

This is general information regarding signs, causes, and treatment of pain in animals, such as dogs, cats, farm animals, and horses. There is a video that explains how animals experience pain. This site is not a substitute for communication between an animal owner and their veterinarian.

National Academies of Science. Institute for Laboratory Animal Research.

The National Academies have developed a free online resource to help those who care for and use laboratory animals, farm animals, and pets to prevent, recognize, and alleviate pain in different types of animals, from non-human primates to fish. 

USDA. NAL. Animal Welfare Information Center.

This article, originally published in the CALAS/ACSAL Newsletter Vol 30 #5 October 1996, discusses the alleviation of post-operative pain in laboratory animals as an important goal in all research.

Colorado State University. Department of Animal Science.

This paper refutes claims that feeling pain is dependent on brain size and complexity. Instead, it suggests that a reasonable criteria for assessing pain-induced suffering is whether or not the animal actively seek pain relief.