Anaesthesia

Source

Non-harmful / below threshold / severity degree 0 Mild / severity degree 1 Moderate / severity degree 2 Severe / severity degree 3
Directive 2010/63/EU, Annex VIII

  Administration of anaesthesia except for the sole purpose of killing.    
Home Office (2014 a)   Administration of anaesthesia is in itself a mild procedure under normal circumstances, provided the induction is rapid and the duration is such that the animal makes a rapid and uneventful recovery without the need for supportive treatment. The actual harm related to anaesthesia may increase or accumulate where anaesthesia is repeated. A regulated procedure carried out under general anaesthesia, regardless of how severe individual steps might be in a conscious animal, but having no adverse effects immediately after the animal recovers, could also be classed as an overall mild procedure. This excludes most surgical procedures where some level of discomfort if not pain will be present on recovery.    
Working Group of Berlin Animal Welfare Officers (2010)   Those procedures are done under general anaesthesia with the animal being killed at the end of the experiment while still being anaesthetized. This is considered to cause mild stress.    

 

Surgical interventions in general

Source

Non-harmful / below threshold / severity degree 0 Mild / severity degree 1 Moderate / severity degree 2 Severe / severity degree 3
Directive 2010/63/EU, Annex VIII

   

Surgery under general anaesthesia and appropriate analgesia, associated with postsurgical pain, suffering or impairment of general condition.

Examples include: Thoracotomy. Craniotomy. Laparotomy. Orchidectomy. Lymphadenectomy. Thyroidectomy. Orthopaedic surgery with effective stabilisation and wound management. Organ transplantation with effective management of rejection. Surgical implantation of catheters, or biomedical devices (e.g. telemetry transmitters, minipumps, etc.).
Surgical and other interventions in animals under general anaesthesia which are expected to result in severe or persistent moderate postoperative pain, suffering or distress or severe and persistent impairment of the general condition of the animals. Examples: Production of unstable fractures. Thoracotomy without adequate analgesia, or trauma to produce multiple organ failure.
Directive 2010/63/EU, Annex VIII    

 

Testing of a device where failure may cause severe pain, distress or death of the animal (e.g. cardiac assist devices).
Home Office (2014 a)    

Most surgical procedures performed aseptically with good post-operative care, including effective analgesia throughout the recovery period, judged effective using appropriate monitoring for the species and procedure, and where animals have returned essentially to normal within three to four days, will be classed as moderate.

A major surgical procedure carried out without post-operative analgesia will invariably be classed as severe. This situation is expected to be rare and based on specific scientific justification. Ongoing significant pain, distress or impairment to the animal‟s health as a result of surgery is likely to be severe. Similarly, any situation
where animals appear to show signs of significant or more than brief moderate pain following surgery despite analgesia should be classified as severe.
Federal Food Safety and Veterinary Office FSVO (2018) Single injection of small volumes s.c. and i.v. (species-specific), including repeated injections at long intervals (at least 24 hours).

I.v. or i.p. injections in sedated animals by catheter or tube and substances introduced into the body such as enemas. Implants and permanent accesses that can be created and used by means of a minimally invasive (superficial) procedure.

Examples: Repeated iv or sc injection of small volumes (species-specific) , Insertion of cannulae into peripheral blood vessels ,Subcutaneous injection of tumour tissue,Single subcutaneous implantations of osmotic minipumps and transponders, Subcutaneously channelled venous catheters.

Repeated injections at short intervals (several times within 24 hours). Implants and permanent accesses that have to be created by means of a deep surgical procedure or causing mild long-term constraint on an animal.

Examples: Chronic iv catheters, duodenal infusion cannula, hepatic portal vein catheter, gastric tube or chronic intragastric infusion cannula, Intraperitoneal or intravenous osmotic minipumps ,gavage, telemetry transmitters, Implanted iv catheters with pumps in a jacket worn by dogs, Implantation of indwelling catheters in ventricles of the brain, or of electrodes in the brain, if the animals retain their freedom of movement, Attachment of implants on the intact locomotor apparatus which do not cause any restriction of movement.

Implants and permanent accesses that have to be created by means of a deep surgical procedure and causing severe long-term strain on an animal.

Examples: Attachment of implants on the locomotor apparatus or other large implants that restrict movement (e.g. dorsal skinfold chamber in mice), Implantation of catheters in the abdominal aorta or bile duct, Implantation of an arterial blood-pressure catheter in the aortic arch via the left carotid artery or in the abdominal aorta via the femoral artery, Implantation of a combination of a venous and arterial catheter.
Federal Food Safety and Veterinary Office FSVO (2018)  

Minor surgical and other interventions (minor tissue trauma) under general or local anaesthesia with minor postoperative pain, suffering and impairment of general condition.

Examples: Skin biopsies. Insertion of cannulae into peripheral blood vessels. Subcutaneously channelled venous catheters. Surgery under general anaesthesia without recovery. Vasectomy in mice and rats.

Surgical and other interventions on animals under general anaesthesia with moderate postoperative pain, suffering or disturbance of general condition.

Examples: Laparotomy, laparoscopy such as ovariectomy, hysterectomy, unilateral nephrectomy, splenectomy, creation of gastric fistula in rat and dog. Xenopus oocyte recovery max. 2x, 2nd collection terminal Craniotomy. Orchidectomy and neutering in the female animal Lymphadenectomy. Thyroidectomy, hypophysectomy with hormonal substitution Attachment of implants on the intact locomotor apparatus Orthopaedic surgery with effective stabilisation and wound care Plastering of limbs for the study of muscular atrophy. Organ transplantation with effective treatment of rejection.

Surgical and other interventions under general anaesthesia with severe or chronic postoperative pain, suffering or disturbance of general condition.

Examples:Creation of unstable fractures. Back, pelvic and intervertebral disc surgery Joint transplantation. Induction of infections in bone and joint structures. Transplantation of a functional internal organ. Intestinal resection. Hepatectomy 86%. One kidney, two clips.
Opening of the chest, thoracotomy, intercostal thorax access, thoracoscopy. Laparotomy (in the dam) with in utero electroporation in the last third of gestation with subsequent carrying to full term and birth of the litter.
Attachment of implants on the locomotor system if this leads to a restriction of movement Restriction of function.

Working Group of Berlin Animal Welfare Officers (2010)  

Smaller surgical and other procedures on animals (minor tissue traumas) under general or local anaesthesia with mild postsurgical pain, suffering, and mildly impaired general condition

Surgical and other procedures on animals under general anaesthesia with moderate postsurgical pain, suffering, or moderately impaired general condition.

Surgical and other procedures on animals under general anaesthesia with severe postsurgical pain, suffering, or severely impaired general condition over longer periods of time.

 

Abdominal and chest cavity

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)

  Mini-pump s.c. or i.p. Subcutaneously applied central venous catheter. Skin biopsies. Application of cannulas in peripheral blood vessels. Orchidectomy without laparotomy. Generation of skin papillomas. Subcutaneous transplantation of organs without physiological function in the receiving animal. Subcutaneous implantation of tumour tissue, subject to tumour size. Invasive blood pressure measurement under anaesthesia. Rumen fistulas in cattle and small ruminants. Models with laparotomy: ovariectomy, vasectomy, adrenalectomy, hepatectomy, hysterectomy, Caesarean section, lymphadenectomy, thyroidectomy, partial nephrectomy, splenectomy. Bowel resection, depending on location and extent. Implantation of catheters into the Aorta abdominalis or the bile duct. Mini-pumps i.v. Mini-pumps with substance release into the stomach. Generation of a stomach fistula. Small bowel fistula in pigs and ruminants. Models with thoracotomy. Nephrectomy (>50%). Bowel resection, depending on location and extent. Stomach resection. Transplantation of a functional inner organ.

 

Musculoskeletal system

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)   . Application of implants in the intact musculoskeletal system. Joint transplantations. Application of implants in the musculoskeletal system, followed by functional loss of that.

 

Implantation of mini-pumps, transponders

Source

Non-harmful / below threshold / severity degree 0 Mild / severity degree 1 Moderate / severity degree 2 Severe / severity degree 3
Directive 2010/63/EU, Annex VIII

  Non surgical subcutaneous implantation of mini-pumps and transponders.    
Home Office (2014 a)   Minor surgical procedures without complications might on some occasions be considered mild, such as a single insertion of subcutaneous minipump with analgesia, very rapid recovery and no apparent after-effects.    

 

Organ transplantation

Source

Non-harmful / below threshold / severity degree 0 Mild / severity degree 1 Moderate / severity degree 2 Severe / severity degree 3
Directive 2010/63/EU, Annex VIII

      Organ transplantation where organ rejection is likely to lead to severe distress or impairment of the general condition of the animals (e.g. xenotransplantation)
Federal Food Safety and Veterinary Office FSVO (2018)  

Interventions causing mild short-term pain or injury and low-grade local changes without disturbances of body function or general condition.

Examples: Subcutaneous transplantations of organs without physiological function in the recipient animals. Transplantation of mouse hearts subcutaneously behind the ear of recipient mice. Transfer of immune cells into a recipient animal with or without mild temporary pathology. Donor animals euthanized under deep anaesthesia after the surgical intervention.

Transplantations of organs without physiological function in the recipient animals (with the exception of subcutaneous localisation).

Examples: Second heart transplantation into the abdominal cavity. Transplantation of islet cells under the kidney capsule. Models with skin grafting, without severe restriction of movement. Transfer of immune cells causing transient clinical disease in the recipient animal.

Transplantation of organs with physiological function in the recipient animal, the failure of which leads to severe strain.

Examples: Rejection of limb afterallotransplantation. Kidney transplantation. Pancreas transplantation.

 

Implanted probes

Source

Non-harmful / below threshold / severity degree 0 Mild / severity degree 1 Moderate / severity degree 2 Severe / severity degree 3
Federal Food Safety and Veterinary Office FSVO (2018)

  Preterminal implantation of probes under anaesthesia.

Models with chronically implanted catheters/electrodes (including wireless technology) in the skull.

Examples: Repeated EEG recordings in conscious rats or mice. Cerebroventricular cannulae in the rat for direct, repeated administration of the test substance into the brain. Collection of cerebrospinal fluid via cannula in the rat.

Models with chronically implanted catheters/electrodes (including wireless technology) in the skull, with additional strain

Examples: Head fixation with water deprivation.

 

Others
e.g. tumour implantation, invasive blood pressure measurement, procedures in peripheral tissue

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)     Aortic banding. Localised tumours. Cornea transplantation. Transplantation of organs without physical function in the receiving animal (except subcutaneous localisation). Models with skin transplantations, without severe restrictions on motion. Tumours with metastases leading to tumour cachexia or other lethal diseases. Transplantation of organs with physiological functions in the receiving animal (when failure of which would effect severe stress). Traumatically induced circulatory shock. Application of cannulas into functional end arteries.

 

This page was updated on 01 January 2021

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