Policy #11 defines a painful procedure as "any procedure that would reasonably be expected to cause more than slight or momentary pain or distress in a human being to which that procedure is applied, that is, pain in excess of that caused by injections or other minor procedures." A few examples of painful/distressful procedures are listed on this page.
Policy #12 details the requirement of considering alternatatives to painful and distressful procedures, recommending a database search as the most effective method to determine alternatives.
Animal Welfare Act - Requirements for the Minimization of Pain and Distress
W.R. DeHaven summarizes the requirements of Policies #11 and #12.
A list of resources about pain management, alleviation, humane endpoints, and refinement techniques in various species
Before searching for potentially painful procedures, it is necessary to determine which procedures in the protocol have the potential to cause pain or distress. This is not always a straightforward process; these resources can be a starting point for making those determinations.
"This article reviews methods of clinical pain assessment in animals, with reference to the techniques used in man. Techniques for pain alleviation are briefly reviewed."
Table 1-1 of this resource lists examples of painful procedures or conditions by type and anatomic location.
Complied by Dr. Richard L. Crawford of the AWIC