Recommended Set

16. Animal care and monitoring Describe any interventions or steps taken in the experimental protocols to reduce pain, suffering, and distress. explanation


A safe and effective analgesic plan is critical to relieve pain, suffering and distress. Untreated pain can affect the animals’ biology and add variability to the experiment; however specific pain management procedures can also introduce variability, affecting experimental data [1,2]. Under-reporting of welfare management procedures contributes to the perpetuation of non-compliant methodologies and insufficient or inappropriate use of analgesia [2] or other welfare measures. A thorough description of the procedures used to alleviate pain, suffering and distress provides practical information for researchers to replicate the method.

Clearly describe pain management strategies, including:

  • specific analgesic
  • administration method (e.g. formulation, route, dose, concentration, volume, frequency, timing, and equipment used)
  • rationale for the choice (e.g. animal model, disease/pathology, procedure, mechanism of action, pharmacokinetics, personnel safety)
  • protocol modifications to reduce pain, suffering and distress (e.g. changes to the anaesthetic protocol, increased frequency of monitoring, procedural modifications, habituation, etc.)

If analgesics or other welfare measures, reasonably expected for the procedure performed, are not performed for experimental reasons, report the scientific justification [3].



  1. Jirkof P (2017). Side effects of pain and analgesia in animal experimentation. Lab Anim (NY). doi: 10.1038/laban.1216
  2. Carbone L and Austin J (2016). Pain and Laboratory Animals: Publication Practices for Better Data Reproducibility and Better Animal Welfare. PLoS One. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0155001
  3. Gaspani L, Bianchi M, Limiroli E, Panerai AE and Sacerdote P (2002). The analgesic drug tramadol prevents the effect of surgery on natural killer cell activity and metastatic colonization in rats. Journal of neuroimmunology. doi: 10.1016/s0165-5728(02)00165-0