Animal Welfare; Definitions for and Reporting of Pain and Distress
AGENCY: Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA.
ACTION: Request for comments.
SUMMARY: We are considering several changes to the Animal Welfare regulations to promote the humane treatment of live animals used in research, testing, and teaching and to improve the quality of information we report to Congress concerning animal pain and distress. Specifically, we are considering adding a definition for the term “distress.” Although this term is used throughout the Animal Welfare regulations, it is not defined. The addition of such a definition would clarify what we consider to be “distress” and could help assist research facilities to recognize and minimize distress in animals in accordance with the Animal Welfare Act (AWA).
We are also considering replacing or modifying the system we use to classify animal pain and distress. Professional standards regarding the recognition and relief of animal pain and distress have changed significantly since we established our classification system. Some biomedical research professionals and animal welfare advocates believe our classification system is outdated and inadequate. A different categorization system could produce data that more accurately depict the nature of animal pain or distress and provide a better tool to measure efforts made to minimize animal pain and distress at research facilities.
We are soliciting public comments on the changes we are considering. We are also interested in obtaining information on specific pain and distress classification systems other than the one we now use.
DATES: We invite you to comment on this docket. We will consider all comments that we receive by September 8, 2000.
ADDRESSES: Please send your comment and three copies to: Docket No. 00-005-1, Regulatory Analysis and Development, PPD, APHIS, Suite 3C03, 4700 River Road, Unit 118, Riverdale, MD 20737-1238.
Please state that your comment refers to Docket No. 00-005-1. You may read any comments that we receive on this docket in our reading room. The reading room is located in room 1141 of the USDA South Building, 14th Street and Independence Avenue, SW., Washington, DC. Normal reading room hours are 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, except holidays. To be sure someone is there to help you, please call (202) 690-2817 before coming.
APHIS documents published in the Federal Register, and related information, including the names of organizations and individuals who have commented on APHIS dockets, are available on the Internet at http://www.aphis.usda.gov/ppd/rad/webrepor.html.