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

Leena Anil, Sukumarannair S. Anil, John Deen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Scopus citations


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 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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)261-278
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Applied Animal Welfare Science
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2005

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Copyright 2008 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


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