Pain and Distress and Humane Endpoints

These modules are useful for educators seeking to teach IACUC members and staff to identify and define pain and distress, as well as humane endpoints.

Module A: Pain & Distress/Humane Endpoints

Target Audience: New IACUC Members

Goal: Understand how to effectively review protocols to ensure pain and; distress are minimized consistent with sound research design.


  • Define pain, distress, experimental endpoints, and humane endpoints
  • Evaluate the potential for pain and distress
  • Determine the acceptability of the management of possible pain and distress
  • Ensure an appropriate link between experimental and humane end points

Active Learning Methods: Case-Based Learning, Group Work, Problem-Based Learning, Role Play


Alice Huang, PhD, CPIA
Staff Scientist and Deputy for IACUC Guidance
Office of the CVMO, Office of Research and Development
Department of Veterans Affairs

Kiirsa Pokryfke
Training Core Manager
University of Michigan

Ernest D. Prentice, PhD
Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs
Professor of Genetics, Cell Biology, and Anatomy
University of Nebraska Medical Center

Stacy Pritt, MS, DVM, MBA, CPIA, DACAW
Director, IACUC
University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas

William Singleton, DVM, DACLAM
Training Consultant
Animal Care Training Services

Other Materials:

Module B: Pain and Distress And Humane Endpoints in the Laboratory Animal Facility

Target Audience: Operations staff (veterinary, husbandry, and research) and IACUC members

Please note that this framework includes several other modules on various topics involving pain and distress and humane endpoints. The goals and objectives of those trainings are included in the accompanying PowerPoint and handout.

Goals: When using animals in science and for the gain of knowledge, individuals must be able to appreciate and consider the potential for pain and distress (P&D) in research investigations


  • Find appropriate reference materials related to P&D issues and discussion
  • Recite (paraphrase) the three US government principles pertaining to P&D
  • Recite (paraphrase) the three International Guiding Principles for Biomedical Research Involving Animals pertaining to P&D and humane endpoints
  • Recite several criteria which should/must be met for an experiment to be acceptable (approved for conduct) in a particular context
  • Be familiar with the terms "humane care and treatment" and treating animals "humanely"
  • Understand and clarify the potential roles of research assistants, students, investigators, vets and staff, IACUC members, public members, etc. in addressing P&D
  • Compile statistics and complete USDA category B/C/D/E reports (form 7023)

Active Learning Methods: Concept Mapping, Jigsaw, Role Play, Technology-Enhanced Learning, Think-Pair-Share

Other Materials:


Kelly A. Fusco, CPIA
Associate Director
Yale University

Gene A. Hines, MS, PhD
Director of Research Integrity and Compliance
University of Mississippi

Tanise L. Jackson, DVM, DACLAM, CPIA
Director, Animal Care & Regulatory Compliance
Florida A&M University

Bruce W. Kennedy, MS, RLATG, CMAR, CPIA
Compliance Associate/Lecturer
Cal Poly Pomona

Trina Smith, BS, MS, CPIA
IACUC Compliance Administrator
Mississippi State University

This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant Nunber 1546975. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.