NIH's Tutorial on the Public Health Service Animal Welfare Policy (http://grants.nih.gov/grants/olaw/tutorial/index.htm)
introduces you to the regulations and guidelines governing the use of
animals in biomedical research.
Biosafety in Animal Facilities
CDC publishes several documents about Hantavirus, including guidelines
for working with wild rodents in laboratory situations. (http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/diseases/hanta/hantvrus.htm)
Search the literature for Alternatives using the University
of California Center for Animal Alternatives
Specific Laws and Related Documents
NCSU Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee Website
Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals, available from the
National Academy Press, provides standards for the care and use of live,
vertebrate animals in biomedical research.
Title 9, Code of Federal Regulations contains large sections of regulation
enforcing the federal Animal Welfare Act. These regulations have the force
of law and govern many aspects of laboratory animal care and use. (http://www.aphis.usda.gov/ac/9CFR99.html)
The Health Research Extension Act (HREA) is the law that provides funding
for the National Institutes of Health and certain other federal funding
agencies. It's animal welfare provisions apply to all facilities that
accept federal funds and use live vertebrate animals in research. (http://grants.nih.gov/grants/olaw/references/hrea1985.htm)
The passage of the HREA led to the drafting of the US Public Health Service
Policy which instructs research facilities how they must conduct themselves
to receive federal funding for research involving live, vertebrate animals.
The Institute for Laboratory Animal Resoures (ILAR)
Receipt of federal funding requires institutions to provide animal
care in accordance with the National Research Council's ILAR Guide for
the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals. (http://www.nap.edu/readingroom/books/labrats/)
ILAR also publishes a number of useful documents about laboratory animals
and Guidelines for the Use of Animals in Pre College Education.
The use of animals in secondary schools is unregulated. If you work
with pre-college students or science fairs, this is a must read document.
Nomenclature for Transgenic Animals
for the Breeding, Care, and Management of Laboratory Animals
American Veterinary Medical Association
Panel on Euthanasia uses the best scientific evidence to determine
what methods of euthanasia are professionally acceptable. This document
has been incorporated into both the Animal Welfare Act and the Public
Health Service Policy as the single authoritative document determining
how research animals may be euthanized.
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)
Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service - Animal Care enforces
the federal Animal Welfare Act. They have a network of Animal Welfare
Inspectors throughout the US. They have been known to visit UC Davis
as frequently as 50 times per year. All USDA inspections are unannounced,
and they have a right to visit any animal holding area and any research
lab in which animals are used.
Of particular interest is their collection of policy
and enforcement guidelines for USDA Inspectors. These policies determine
many of the actions that our IACUC must take as they inspect facilities
and review protocols.
The National Institutes of Health (NIH)
The National Institutes of Health's Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare
(OLAW) ensures that facilities receiving federal funds follow all current
federal Guidelines. OLAW is responsible for both human subjects and
animal welfare issues.
In order to receive federal funds for animal research, and institution
must file an Animal Welfare Assurance with OLAW. OLAW maintains a database
of all US institutions that have filed Animal Welfare Assurances. NIH
also maintains the CRISP Database of federally funded research projects.
OLAW has also recently issued a policy statement about the production
of monoclonal antibodies in mice. Investigators who produce monoclonal
antibodies in mice are now required to specifically justify why an in-vitro
method would not be suitable for their project.
The Food and Drug Administration
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) sets the standards for research
performed in the act of proving the safety and efficacy of new drugs.
Any data used to prove the safety and efficacy of a new drug must be
performed according the FDA's Good Laboratory Practices, including special
provisions for non-clinical trials.
FDA also protects the human food chain by determining what drugs may
be lawfully used in food animals. They enforce regulations dealing with
the extra label use of drugs in food animals. FDA has also issued a
policy statement about the use of toe-clipping as a means of identification
The Association for Accreditation and Assessment of Laboratory Care,
International AALAC) is a voluntary accrediting body that visits institutions
and assures their compliance with all existing laws, regulations, and
guidelines. Over 80% of the top 100 federally funded research facilities
in the United States are accredited by AAALAC. AAALAC publishes a list
of AAALAC Accredited Institutions. They also provide a series of carefully
considered position statements about a variety of program issues, including
adequate veterinary care, occupational health programs, farm animals,
survival surgical facilities, etc.
The American College of Laboratory Animal Medicine is a professional
specialty board that certifies veterinarians with special expertise
in Laboratory Animal Medicine. Of particular interest is their public
policy statement on Adequate Veterinary Care, which provides a professional
consensus as to what constitutes adequate veterinary care for research
Other Research Institutions
Web Pages at other research facilities.
The University of Florida has used USDA data to graph the numbers of
research animals used in the United States over the past 3 years and
over the past 20 years.
Americans for Medical Progress is a pro-research lobbying group. They
have a great history page about discoveries made through animal research.
If you receive requests for general information about biomedical research,
this is a great place to refer them.
in Science is a web publication by the Minnesota branch of the American
Association for Laboratory Animal Science. The page provides K-12 students,
teachers, and others with basic information about the use of animals
Association for Biomedical Research is a lobbying group that represents
the research community in Washington, D.C.
Association for Laboratory Animal Science provides a certification
program for animal care staff. AALAS promotes responsible animal care
through its programs of training and education.
(People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) is a group that actively
promotes animal rights.