terminal studies. It is my belief that those animals should be in USDA Category “C” if they are anesthetized according to acceptable veterinary standards. They should not be in Category “D.”
If you look back at the language of the AWA, the importance of adequate veterinary care is obvious. Congress trusted that veterinarians would provide the proper care in the mid-1960s, and that trust was extended to veterinarians and IACUCs in the 1985 AWA amendments. Congress expects that veterinarians in research will meet the standards of contemporary veterinary practice. I believe the American public widely maintains that their animals do not suffer or experience pain during the process if they die under anesthesia in the care of a veterinarian. It may have been an anesthetic or a surgical accident, grievous for both the client and the veterinarian; but it would not usually raise the specter of animal pain, distress, or suffering. I therefore believe that if an animal is anesthetized using a method that meets veterinary standards and the approval of the IACUC then this subject should not be recorded in USDA Category “D.”
I propose that the reporting language could be improved by splitting Category “E.” The HSUS literature appropriately alludes to the problem in Category “E” in its discussion. Animals are sometimes denied analgesics, anesthetics, and tranquilizers, not because it would affect the science, but because those substances are not clearly clinically indicated in the treatment of the kind of pain or distress that animals would suffer under those kinds of conditions. Such an example might be an animal used in an infectious disease study involving malaise, mild abdominal cramping, low-grade fever, diarrhea, and dehydration. How many and what kinds of drugs would be necessary to relieve that constellation of symptoms, and would this treatment be completely successful? It is very possible that no appropriate drugs would fall into the drug categories specified under Column “E”: anesthetics, analgesics, or tranquilizers.
My solution to the language problem is minimalistic and simple: split USDA Category “E” into two categories, “E1” and “E2,” and retain the original language for “E1.” For Category E2, fashion some language to express our need to include other types of vague pain, distress, and suffering, which are poorly characterized and for which the anesthetics, analgesics, sedatives, and tranquilizers may not be deemed appropriate. I offer the following language for the new Category “E2”: “Provide the common names and approximate numbers of animals used in applications that resulted in significant pain or distress but for which palliative efforts either were not undertaken or were deemed ineffective in the opinion of the IACUC and the attending veterinarian due to the type of pain or distress syndrome involved and the current status of applicable pharmacological and non-pharmacological therapeutic options.”
The language recommendations above represent my attempt to create a