Based on the NHMRC Australian code of practice for the care and use of animals for scientific purposes, 8th Edition, 2013 the AEC recommends that analgesia should be used routinely after every painful procedure on animals unless there is scientific justification that this will affect the results of the experiment.

Extract from the Code

  • 3.3.27 Surgical procedures must be carried out under appropriate local or general anaesthesia. There must be adequate monitoring for the depth of anaesthesia and of side effects such as hypothermia, and cardiovascular and respiratory depression.
  • 3.3.28 The choice and administration of anaesthetic, analgesic and tranquillising agents must be suitable for the species and appropriate for the purpose of the study.
  • 3.3.29 Aseptic procedures are necessary when it is intended that the animal will recover from surgery.
  • 3.3.30 When the animal is to recover from the anaesthetic, surgical procedures must conform to accepted standards in human and veterinary practice. Analgesics and tranquillisers must be used when required and their use should parallel that in current medical and veterinary practice.
  • 3.3.31 When more than one surgical procedure is to be performed the animal must have recovered to good general health between each procedure. Every effort must be made to reduce the total number of procedures and the AEC must have been informed specifically of the need for more than one.
  • 3.3.32 When the animal is not to recover from the surgery, it must be unconscious for the whole procedure, either by continuing the administration of the general anaesthetic or by inducing brain death.