Federal Laws and Monitoring
We routinely exceed the high standards of quality, ethics, and transparency specified through a network of laws and guidelines put in place to ensure animal welfare, including:
Animal Welfare Act – Enforced by the U.S. Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), the Animal Welfare Act is the only Federal law that regulates treatment of animals in research. Signed into law in 1966, the Act specifies standards of care
Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals – Assembled by the U.S. National Research Council, the Guide assists institutions in caring for and using animals in ways judged to be scientifically, technically, and humanely appropriate. The document also sets guidelines for planning and conducting animal experiments according to the highest scientific, humane, and ethical principles.
In addition to University of Utah’s Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC), multiple external agencies provide regulatory oversight and monitoring, including:
AAALAC International – The Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care is a private, nonprofit organization that promotes the humane treatment of animals in science. Demonstrating a commitment to responsible animal care and use, the University of Utah has voluntarily participated in AAALAC's rigorous program. To receive and maintain accreditation, institutions are evaluated by comprehensive site visits at three-year intervals.
U.S. Department of Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) – To ensure the welfare of animals, APHIS carries out unannounced inspections at least once each year to monitor compliance with animal husbandry practices, facilities, records, handling, and veterinary care programs.
National Institutes of Health, Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare (OLAW) – OLAW oversees compliance of research funded by the Public Health Service, including National Institutes of Health, the largest funder of biomedical research in the United States. Funded research must adhere to the PHS Policy that expands on the Animal Welfare Act, covering additional species.
The University of Utah takes its responsibilities for animal care seriously. We self-report all potential non-compliance issues to IACUC and external agencies and implements corrective actions proactively and immediately. Although incidents are extremely rare, we are committed to reducing the number even further. We value our partnerships to collaboratively ensure humane animal care for every research study.