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Pain detection and amelioration in animals on the farm: issues and options

By L. Anil, S. S. Anil, J. Deen

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Pain in nonhuman animals is a difficult concept to identify and measure. This article briefly describes the consequences of pain in animals on the farm and explains the reasons for the minimal use of analgesics in farmed animals. Pain can have implications for both animal welfare and economics. The reasons for a low use of analgesics in farmed animals include the lack of recognition of animal pain owing to the apparent lack of anthropomorphically identifiable behavioral changes, concern over human food safety, and lack of research efforts to develop safe analgesics for farm use. Treatment cost relative to the benefits expected is another hindering factor. Interventions to minimize pain must begin with developing objective and practical measures for pain identification and measurement at the farm level. A suggested use of a combination of different behavioral and physiological indicators would help to identify pain in animals. To facilitate continued usage of the methodologies on the farm it also is necessary to evaluate the economic implication of the pain alleviation intervention.

Publication Title Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science
Volume 8
Issue 4
Pages 261-278
ISBN/ISSN 1088-8705
Publisher Taylor & Francis
DOI 10.1207/s15327604jaws0804_3
Language English
Author Address Department of Veterinary Population Medicine, 335g, Animal Science/Veterinary Medicine Building, University of Minnesota, 1988 Fitch Avenue, Saint Paul, Minnesota, MN 55108,
Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  1. Analgesia
  2. Animal behavior
  3. Animal production
  4. Animal rights
  5. Animal welfare
  6. Attitudes
  7. Behavior and behavior mechanisms
  8. Chemotherapy
  9. Domestic animals
  10. Drug therapy
  11. Livestock
  12. Pain
  13. pain relief
  14. peer-reviewed
  15. Pharmacology & Pharmacy
  16. Social psychology and social anthropology
  1. peer-reviewed