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IASP Guidelines for the Use of Animals in Research



The 2024 Global Year will examine what is known about sex and gender differences in pain perception and modulation and address sex-and gender-related disparities in both the research and treatment of pain.

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The IASP recognizes the importance and value of using animals as experimental subjects.

Information gained from research using animals has contributed to remarkable gains in our understanding of the mechanisms that underlie the generation of pain and also has led to the development of new approaches for the management of pain. The position of IASP is that responsible and humane research on animals is the means through which researchers will continue to develop better strategies for pain control.

Complicated and at times invasive methods are used in the course of pain research. The studies range from analyses of mechanisms that underlie the generation of acute pain, to the complex peripheral and central nervous system changes that occur in the setting of tissue injury. To model clinical pain conditions and to evaluate the utility of novel analgesics in these different conditions, a variety of animal models have been developed, and new ones continue to be developed. Because of the myriad technical and animal welfare issues that arise in the course of these studies, the IASP believes that it is impractical to develop specific policies and guidelines that cover all research use of animals in the geographically diverse settings of IASP members. The IASP, therefore, endorses the comprehensive animal welfare policies and guidelines that have been established by many national and regional organizations (e.g., the United States, Canada, Mexico, European Union, etc.).

All national and regional guidelines addressing humane care and use of laboratory animals clearly explain the policies and guidelines that ensure that all research performed on live vertebrate animals will be performed humanely. The IASP finds the policies and procedures set forth in these policies to be both necessary and sufficient to ensure a high standard of animal care and use.  Authors must verify that they have adhered to such guidelines when submitting manuscripts for publication to Pain and when submitting materials for presentation at biennial World Congresses.

Recommended References

  • Canadian Council on Animal Care. Guide to the Care and Use of Experimental Animals Vol. 1. 2d ed. Ontario, Canada: CCAC, 1993. WWW: http://www.ccac.ca/
  • Foundation for Biomedical Research. The Biomedical Investigator’s Handbook for Researchers Using Animal Models. Washington, D.C.: FBR, 1987. WWW: http://www.fbresearch.org/
  • Laws and Codes of Mexico. “Seventh Title of the Regulations of the General Law of Health Regarding Health Research.” 12th updated ed. Porrua Collection, 430-31. Mexico: Porrua Publishers, 1995.
  • National Academy of Sciences. Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals, 7th ed. Washington, D.C.: National Research Council, Institute for Laboratory Animal Research, NAS, 1996. WWW: http://www.nap.edu/catalog/5140.html
  • National Institutes of Health. OPRR Public Health Service Policy on Humane Care and Use of Laboratory Animals. Rockville, MD: NIH/Office for Protection from Research Risks, 1996. WWW: http://grants.nih.gov/grants/olaw/olaw.htm
  • National Institutes of Health. Preparation and Maintenance of Higher Mammals During Neuroscience Experiments. Report of a National Institutes of Health Workshop. NIH Publication No. 94-3207. Bethesda, MD: NIH/National Eye Institute, 1994. WWW: http://www.nei.nih.gov/
  • Society for Neuroscience. Handbook for the Use of Animals in Neuroscience Research. Washington, D.C.: SfN, 1991.
  • Directive 86/609/EEC, European Economic Community, November 24, 1986

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