. "Assessing Pain and Distress: A Veterinary Behaviorist's Perspective." Definition of Pain and Distress and Reporting Requirements for Laboratory Animals: Proceedings of the Workshop Held June 22, 2000. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press, 2000.
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DEFINITION OF PAIN AND DISTRESS AND REPORTING REQUIREMENTS FOR LABORATORY ANIMALS: PROCEEDINGS OF THE WORKSHOP HELD JUNE 22, 2000
DR. GEBHART (Gerry Gebhart, University of Iowa): Dr. Bayne, I inferred from your comments that you believe the definition for distress proposed by the USDA might be inappropriate. In my opinion, that definition is more likely to represent stress, rather than distress, of an animal. Is that a fair interpretation?
DR. BAYNE: Yes, thank you for highlighting that distinction. The USDA should review the language to reflect that the animal's inability to adapt or cope is distress due to the anxiety, fear, change, and novelty Dr. DeHaven described. All of those states are considered by ethologists to be stressors (not distressors). Only when an animal is unable to cope will it slide into the category of distress.
DR. GLUCK (John Gluck, Kennedy Institute of Ethics): You were very critical of the Morton and Griffiths papers, but I do not understand the nature of your criticism. Certain postures or eye movements appear to be relatively structural definitions that do not require a great deal of functional interpretation. Please describe your criticisms more explicitly.
DR. BAYNE: I believe the Carstens and Moberg paper is actually better because, with 15 years of additional information, it relies on the physiology of the animal in addition to behavior. The Morton and Griffiths paper, however, relies strictly on behavior and on the use of terms that are inherently subjective for assessing an animal 's state of pain or distress. I am not sure I know what a “dormouse posture” is. I would have to go back into Walker's Mammals to see what a dormouse looks like. I am not sure we would all agree on an “anxious look.” I think many Bassett hounds look anxious, and they are not; it is simply the expression. The amount of subjectivity in the criteria they proposed and the tremendous influence of the paper on many other, particularly European, positions are disturbing to me.
I believe David Morton has evolved his position and has, in recent years, developed very elaborate, detailed score sheets for rodents. However, they are not extrapolatable to all laboratory animal species. They, in fact, include other physiological dimensions of the animal 's state.
Frequently, there is a great deal of reliance in the literature on such criteria as reproduction. However, if you deliberately preclude reproduction, then it becomes a moot point. Again, I would question the use of sole reliance on behavioral criteria because they vary from species to species. As I attempted to imply, there is even intra-animal variability based on an animal's experience as it ages, so our criteria must shift accordingly to avoid over- or underinterpreting.
DR. GLUCK: I am not trying to defend David Morton, but I think the overall impact of that paper and some of his other publications successfully draw attention to later, more formalized procedures whereby the experimenter, researcher, or staff member is required to check an animal's conduct in one form or another.
DR. BAYNE: I do not argue that point at all. I simply do not want institutions to go back and use those tables, which is what the authors were proposing.
DR. NELSON (Randall Nelson, University of Tennessee, ILAR Council, and IACUC member): You made a very good point, which is that we should