are absolute requirements for accomplishing this task. In the context of research budgets, this approach is easily achieved by a shift from engineering standards toward greater emphasis on veterinary performance standards. However responsible, the scientists can be unrealistically expected to understand or have time to fully manage such key animal populations. There must be responsibility, collaboration, and authority of clinical veterinary staff.
Finally, part of ILAR's directive today was to provide guidance to USDA's inclusion of alternative searches in Policy 11. I have not heard anyone call this a similarities search, but having performed such searches, I believe the existing directive does not enhance science or animal care. The current policy and enactment drive away scientists rather than enlisting their cooperation because it is described and viewed as a barrier rather than an opportunity. A better solution is to require a prereview in which the attending veterinary staff search human and animal-similar literature for the purposes of seeking answers to confounding variables, stress and pain outcomes, and case management of human or animal-similar patients.
Alternatives, in my opinion, are most beneficial when viewed as refinements to animal care and study design. If such a search were undertaken prospectively for these purposes, compliance with responsible use of animals would often develop naturally.
I must mention literature because methods that describe adequate animal care and monitoring are frequently not part of scientific journal reporting. Many investigators argue that their science does not need refinement because the methods they are utilizing have been reproduced time and again according to proven methods. Many will also try to pool controls from previous work in which no pain and distress management schemes were utilized. I contend, however, that many methods are missing from such papers. A preponderance of papers reviewed, do not mention analgesic programs and leave the reader to wonder if compliance really existed at all.
One must understand that the recalcitrant scientist will continue to ignore Policy 11 directives but will still cater to the scientific journals under today's “publish or perish” conduct. If the majority of exemplary publications were also to include a section specifically describing pain and distress monitoring, duration, and intervention criteria, the mainstay of scientists would also conform to that standard. A commensurate education in Policy 11 guidelines and journal management would be very useful for achieving this goal.