no accurate category in which to place an animal that does not benefit from the use of pain-relieving medications but for which there was no prohibition to the use of pain-relieving medications. Column E is for procedures for which pain-relieving medications could not be used because it is expected that the use of those medications would result in inaccurate data or inaccurate interpretations of the data. This description is in contrast to the animal that may have experienced pain or distress, was not provided pain-relieving medication, but for which there was no prohibition to the use of those medications.

As I said at the beginning, our primary reason for being here today is to listen. We will also be publishing a Federal Register Notice to gather input from the public and all interested parties with regard to this whole process. We hope that you will voice your opinion and, in doing so, will propose a solution and justification for any solution that you might suggest.

When we publish this Notice in the Federal Register, which we hope will be very soon, we hope that you will comment. We are anticipating a 60-day comment period for the definition of distress as well as the concept of changing our current pain and distress categorization scheme.

There are several ways to contact us through the Federal Register Notice, which will include specific instructions. In addition, you may submit your comments: via email (ace@usda.gov ), telephone (301-734-4981), or fax (301-734-4978). Otherwise, the several USDA folks in this audience will be listening in earnest to the discussions throughout the day.



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