Condition of fur, grooming and body orifices

Source

Non-harmful / below threshold / severity degree 0 Mild / severity degree 1 Moderate / severity degree 2 Severe / severity degree 3
Working Group of Berlin Animal Welfare Officers (2010)   Temporary oculonasal discharge; no self mutilation Scruffy, shaggy fur; permanent oculonasal discharge; no self mutilation Scruffy, shaggy fur with dehydration (skin fold); permanent, severe oculonasal discharge; self mutilation
FELASA Working Group on Pain and Distress (1994)



Partial piloerection Staring coat- marked piloerection Staring coat-marked piloerection with other signs of dehydration such as skin tenting
FELASA Working Group on Pain and Distress (1994)   Oculo-nasal discharge transient (typically signs of chromorhinodacryorrhoea in rodents) Oculo-nasal discharge persistent Oculo-nasal discharge - persistent and copious

 

Breathing, heart rate

Source

Non-harmful / below threshold / severity degree 0 Mild / severity degree 1 Moderate / severity degree 2 Severe / severity degree 3
Working Group of Berlin Animal Welfare Officers (2010)   Change of HR < 30%; normal breathing Temporarily abnormal breathing Change of HR >30%, increased for longer periods; heavy breathing
FELASA Working Group on Pain and Distress (1994)

  Normal respiration Intermittent abnormal breathing pattern laboured respiration

 

Body temperature

Source

Non-harmful / below threshold / severity degree 0 Mild / severity degree 1 Moderate / severity degree 2 Severe / severity degree 3
Working Group of Berlin Animal Welfare Officers (2010)   Up to 1°C   More than 2°C

 

Behaviour and body posture

Source

Non-harmful / below threshold / severity degree 0 Mild / severity degree 1 Moderate / severity degree 2 Severe / severity degree 3
Working Group of Berlin Animal Welfare Officers (2010)   Social interaction with cage companions; no convulsions Minor interaction with cage companions; intermittent crouching posture; quivering; convulsions The animal is isolating itself; the animal is tiptoeing or showing a heavy gait; permanent crouching posture, quivering, convulsions.
FELASA Working Group on Pain and Distress (1994)

  Interacts with peers Little peer interaction  
FELASA Working Group on Pain and Distress (1994)   Hunched transiently especially after dosing Hunched intermittently Hunched persistently ('frozen')
FELASA Working Group on Pain and Distress (1994)   Transient vocalization Intermittent-vocalization when provoked Distressed –vocalization unprovoked

 

Reaction to artificial stimulation; handling behaviour; reaction to physical contact

Source

Non-harmful / below threshold / severity degree 0 Mild / severity degree 1 Moderate / severity degree 2 Severe / severity degree 3
Working Group of Berlin Animal Welfare Officers (2010)   The animal reacts normally to stimulation. Attention and behavioural reaction is diminished or exaggerated. Not responsive
FELASA Working Group on Pain and Distress (1994)

  Subdued but responsive, animal shows normal provoked patterns of behaviour Subdued animal shows subdued behaviour patterns even when provoked. Unresponsive to extraneous activity and provocation

 

Food and water consumption

Source

Non-harmful / below threshold / severity degree 0 Mild / severity degree 1 Moderate / severity degree 2 Severe / severity degree 3
FELASA Working Group on Pain and Distress (1994)   Food and water consumption 40-75% of normal for 72 h Food and water consumption less than 40% of normal for 72 h Food and water consumption less than 40% for 7 days, or anorexia (total inappetence) for 72 h

 

Prostration

Source

Non-harmful / below threshold / severity degree 0 Mild / severity degree 1 Moderate / severity degree 2 Severe / severity degree 3
FELASA Working Group on Pain and Distress (1994)

  No prostration Transient prostration (less than 1 h) Prolonged prostration (more than 1 h)

 

Self trauma

Source

Non-harmful / below threshold / severity degree 0 Mild / severity degree 1 Moderate / severity degree 2 Severe / severity degree 3
Home Office (2014 a)

      Self trauma is generally indicative of severe suffering. However, if it is minor and self-limiting and animals do not show evidence of pain on examination by competent staff, this can be classed as moderate. An example might be autotomy where the trauma is superficial (is restricted to nails and has not progressed to the soft tissue) and has stopped. If the autotomy is persistent or progressing, the classification would be severe.
FELASA Working Group on Pain and Distress (1994)   No self-mutilation No self-mutilation Self-mutilation

 

Body weight

Source

Non-harmful / below threshold / severity degree 0 Mild / severity degree 1 Moderate / severity degree 2 Severe / severity degree 3
Home Office (2014 a)

    Gradual weight loss or divergence between adult experimental and normal animals of between 15 and 20 per cent (over a period of days) as a result of procedure(s), or a weight difference of this range against age/sex matched controls in growing animals, would usually be classified as moderate severity. Slow weight loss of even greater than 20 per cent due to mild calorie restriction, especially in obese individuals, may not in itself be an indication of even moderate suffering. Where an established body condition scoring system is in place, a combination of weight measurement with body condition of the animal provides a more robust measure of likely suffering than weight alone. For example, a sheep that has dropped 15 per cent of its body weight and has reduced its condition score from 3 in 5 to 1.5 in 5 over a period of days, using the standard agricultural scoring system, is likely to be associated with at least moderate suffering, whilst a similar weight loss with a drop in body condition from 5 to 4 is not. Very rapid weight loss (within 24 to 48 hours) within this range may indicate a significantn element of dehydration and is likely to be an indication of severe suffering. Severe calorie restriction can be a cause of moderate or even severe suffering.
Working Group of Berlin Animal Welfare Officers (2010)   mild (< 5%) compared to the strain specific weight 5 – 20% compared to the strain specific weight > 20% compared to the strain specific weight

FELASA Working Group on Pain and Distress (1994)

  Reduced weight gain Weight loss of up to 20% Weight loss greater than 25%

 

This page was updated on 01 January 2021

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