Thomas Jefferson University

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Laws & Regulations

Animal Welfare Act
The AWA requires the US Department of Agriculture to regulate the use of animals in research. It covers all vertebrate species except birds, rats and mice bred for research.

Animal Welfare Regulations
Parts 1 - 3 of Title 9 of the Code of Federal Regulations (9 CFR 1-3) are the regulations that enforce the Animal Welfare Act.

Health Research Extension Act of 1985, Public Law No: 99-158
Section 494 of this law requires NIH to establish guidelines for the proper care and treatment of animals used in biomedical and behavioral research, and makes compliance to these guidelines a pre-requisite for receiving NIH funding. It essentially charges the NIH to comply with the AWA.

Public Health Policy on Humane Care and Use of Laboratory Animals
This is the policy developed by NIH in response to Public Law 99-158.

U.S. Government Principles for the Utilization and Care of Vertebrate Animals Used in Testing, Research and Training
A statement of principles by the NIH.

National Institutes of Health Revitalization Act of 1993 (PDF)
Amends Section A of Title IV of the Public Service Act to include Sec. 404(C), a plan for the use of animals in research. Essentially, it requires NIH to adhere to the replacement, reduction and refinement of animal use in research (the "3Rs").

Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals, 8th Edition
Written by the National Academy of Sciences and adopted by OLAW in 2011, this lays out the details and requirements for the use of animals in research. It is used by OLAW, USDA and AAALAC-I as the basis for evaluating compliance with all laws and regulations. You can download a free PDF via this link.

AVMA Guidelines on Euthanasia (PDF)
This document is the reference for approved methods of euthanasia, which are required by law.

Regulatory Bodies

The Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare (OLAW) is an office within NIH that oversees research animal use by recipients of NIH funding. According to their mission statement, OLAW provides guidance and interpretation of the Public Health Service (PHS) Policy on Humane Care and Use of Laboratory Animals, supports educational programs, and monitors compliance with the Policy by Assured institutions and PHS funding components to ensure the humane care and use of animals in PHS-supported research, testing, and training, thereby contributing to the quality of PHS-supported activities.

Their website has links to policies and laws, guidance, education and useful resources.

The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is the unit of the US Department of Agriculture that is charged with enforcing the Animal Welfare Act. At least once every year, a Veterinary Medical Officer of the USDA inspects the University for compliance to all regulations for all research involving USDA-regulated animals.

The Association for Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care (AAALAC International)
AAALAC International is a voluntary accrediting organization that enhances the quality of research, teaching, and testing by promoting humane, responsible animal care and use. It provides advice and independent assessments to participating institutions and accredits those that meet or exceed applicable standards. They inspect the University for accreditation every 3 years, and their accreditation is accepted by NIH as our assurance that we comply with all NIH regulations.

Animal Welfare Resources

The Animal Welfare Information Center (AWIC)
AWIC is part of USDA and was established in response to 1985 amendments to the AWA that mandated that the USDA provide information that will prevent unintended duplication of animal research, facilitate the 3Rs, and minimize pain and distress to animals. Among the useful things it supplies are tips on  performing searches for alternatives to animal use and procedures causing pain and distress.

The Scientists Center for Animal Welfare (SCAW) provides resources and education for the development, acceptance and implementation of the highest standards for responsible use of animals in science.

The American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS) is a nonprofit association of lab animal care and research professionals dedicated to responsible lab animal care and use to benefit people and animals. The resources here include the AALAS Learning Library, which we use for online training of researcher.

The National Association for Biomedical Research advocates for sound public policy in support of ethical and essential animal research". Their website also has animal welfare, law, and educational resources.

The Foundation for Biomedical Research (FBR) acts "to educate the public about the essential role of humane animal research in the quest for medical advancements, treatments and cures for both humans and animals." They provide useful resources for presenting animal research to the public.

USDA Animal Welfare Policies Some of these apply to research institutions.

TJU Links

Office of Research Administration
Office of Animal Resources