. "An Industrial 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
question is what these additional categories would do to help the animals. As Dr. Anderson just pointed out, animals that need attention are receiving attention, regardless of their classification.
MRS. STEVENS (Christine Stevens, Animal Welfare Institute): We need reporting, but some people are not reporting correctly. Some people do not care anything about whether animals suffer. A prime example currently is Dr. Frederick Coulston who, in his work with chimpanzees (obviously the most advanced animals that have to be watched) is unable to keep capable veterinarians because one after another have left. He has had young veterinarians directly out of school who have never had any experience with chimpanzees. As a result, 13 chimpanzees have died in the last year or 2, from horrible complications of not being watched.
I also want to draw your attention to the fact that veterinarians have different opinions. To say simply that veterinarians' judgment must be followed is flawed because you cannot proceed on the supposition that every veterinarian is equally able and equally humane. There are enormous differences.
DR. ANDERSON: There is a mechanism, through the USDA, to address animal welfare concerns at the Coulston Foundation. However, I would ask whether reporting animal pain and distress according to mild, moderate, or severe would make any difference in the quality of those animals' lives. Would checking a box to differentiate between mild, moderate, or severe make any difference in animal welfare?
MRS. STEVENS: I think it could make a difference because the National Institutes of Health are keeping Coulston from going bankrupt. This is taxpayers' money, and we are supporting him by the tens of millions of dollars. I object to that money very personally.
DR. SCHULTHEISS (Peter Schultheiss, USDA): As a laboratory animal veterinarian who has spent the past year working with the USDA in animal care, I would like to address Dr. Gebhart's concerns regarding the value of reporting (not of breaking down “E” into mild, moderate, and severe). In reviewing the annual USDA reports, I learned something of which I was not aware via any other mechanism: that according to the statistics, about 80% of all animals in Category E were involved in testing, and more than half of those animals were used specifically for biologics testing for vaccine potency, purity, and safety.
While I was with the USDA, I received a call from Dr. Stokes, who asked me for a relative breakdown of testing procedures so that we might be able to concentrate our efforts on developing alternatives where they are most needed. Given the way we collect information now, I was not really able to pinpoint it, but I was able to bracket animal numbers as to what effect a certain alternative would have. That use of data would be an example, I think, of the value of collecting information for targeting where alternative work is needed.
I have a separate question for Dr. Anderson concerning her statement that the present system fails to consider intensity or duration. Other than pain or distress