Animal experimentation is a crucial component of scientific research and education. Most advances in modern biomedical science can be traced back to original, critical studies in animals. It is recognized that useful tools such as computer modeling techniques, cell tissue, or organ culture methodology have been developed which have contributed in part to a reduction in the number of animals used in biomedical research and in teaching in recent years. However, because of the inherent complexity of biological systems functioning in either health or disease, such tools currently serve primarily as adjunctive aids to the investigational process, and are not yet substitutes for the study of the living animal. In addition, because of ethical considerations, in many instances living systems cannot be studied in the required depth in living human subjects. Therefore, animal based experiments will continue to be essential for a considerable period in order to solve existing health problems and to provide for high quality biomedical educational experiences.
The use of animal subjects in scientific and educational activities is governed by professional standards of ethical conduct as well as by federal and state regulations which reflect the general concerns of society.
Federal and state statutes as well as the Public Health Service Animal Welfare Policy requires that all research institutions establish an Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC). Under these regulatory mandates the IACUC is charged with the responsibility and authority for oversight of the proper care and use of all laboratory animals.
The IACUC employs the use of Animal Welfare Regulations CFR, Title 9, Chapter 1, Subchapter A, Parts 1, 2 and 3 along with The Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals to assure the University is in compliance with all federal, state, and local regulations as well as University policy and Assurance to the Office for Laboratory Animal Welfare (OLAW).
The University's Animal Care Program and Laboratory Animal Facilities are fully accredited by the Association for Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care (AAALAC) International, a voluntary peer review process. AAALAC accreditation, as the gold standard in animal care, is confirmation to all external organizations, including funding bodies and governmental authorities, that the animal care program is conforming to internationally accepted standards.