Severity: classifications and statistical reporting - FELASA/ECLAM/ESLAV WG
The revised Directive 86/609 contains a requirement that all procedures should be classified as `non-recovery`, `mild`, `moderate`, or `severe` on a case by case basis using the assignment criteria set out in Annex IX (Article 15.1). Furthermore, subject to the safeguard clause in Article 50(1A), Member States shall ensure that a procedure is not performed if it involves severe pain, suffering or distress that is likely to be long-lasting and cannot be ameliorated. Annex IX defines the severity categories, gives guidance on assignment criteria and gives examples of different types of procedure in each of the categories.
The revised Directive 86/609 contains a requirement that Member States shall collect and make publicly available, on an annual basis, statistical information on the use of animals in procedures, including information on the actual severity of the procedures (Article 49.2). This new information will be needed three years after transposition. Two countries in Europe, the Netherlands and Switzerland, currently collect such information but there is no experience in the remainder of countries. The UK Laboratory Animal Science Association (LASA), in collaboration with Home Office Animal Procedures Committee (APC), has undertaken a study to assess the feasibility of reporting data on the severity of scientific procedures on animals. Its report was published in 2008. This report makes recommendations for a scheme which is similar to that in Switzerland. A number of pilot trials are underway in UK establishments to assess the ease of operation of the proposed scheme and the impact on resources.