Procedure Severity Assessments in Animal Research: Ethical and Practical Considerations
Procedure severity assessments are required for certain types of animal research. While the concept exists in many jurisdictions, each takes a different approach, resulting in the same procedure potentially being categorized differently, and being subject to different requirements (or none at all). The severity assessment frameworks in the EU, Israel, Canada, and Switzerland are considered and applied to a hypothetical blood withdrawal from a Giant Pacific Octopus. The note considers whether we can ever be sure that we understand the experience of pain of another species, in particular a species that is evolutionarily distant from and poorly understood by humans, and whether our ethical obligations could ever be met in the context of severity assessments.