Smärta i musansikten

Jeremy Bentham brydde sig om djur:

[T]he question is not, Can they reason? nor, Can they talk? but, Can they suffer? Why should the law refuse its protection to any sensitive being?

Bentham var före sin tid. Liksom Darwin, som menade att smärta och lidande uttrycks genom ansiktsuttryck, inte bara hos människor utan också hos andra djur. En ny studie, ”Coding of Facial Expressions of Pain in the Laboratory Mouse”, publicerad i Nature Methods, finner följande:

Facial expression is widely used as a measure of pain in infants; whether nonhuman animals display such pain expressions has never been systematically assessed. We developed the mouse grimace scale (MGS), a standardized behavioral coding system with high accuracy and reliability; assays involving noxious stimuli of moderate duration are accompanied by facial expressions of pain. This measure of spontaneously emitted pain may provide insight into the subjective pain experience of mice.

Om djur synbart lider, vilket nu verkar kunna beläggas i fallet med möss, vad bör det få för implikationer? Att sluta med musfällor är rimligen bara en början.

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