The regulation of the care and use of laboratory animals
Investigators are ultimately responsible for the welfare of their animals and therefore, compliance with all applicable laws, regulations, policies and guidelines of humane care. The purpose of this orientation process is to insure that all people working with animals in research understand their individual responsibility . This responsibility includes familiarity with the laws, regulations and policies as set forth in the USDA Animal Welfare Act, the Public Health Service Policy, the New York State Department of Health and New York University UAWC, which together, embody 3 decades of comprehensive and detailed standards of care for all vertebrate species involved in research. Agencies responsible for animal welfare oversight are:
- Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare (OLAW) An NIH site offering a compendium of Federal laws, policies, and guidelines as well as publications and newsletters.
- Animal Welfare Information Center (AWIC) The Department of Agriculture's major site containing copies of laws, regulations and policies, newsletters, publications, and a selection of databases related to the search for alternatives and other issues related to animal welfare. A link to the National Agricultural Library (NAL) is provided.
- Animal Welfare Act
Animal Welfare Act and Regulations, at the Animal Welfare Information Center, USDA.
- US Department of Agriculture (USDA) Regulations This is the full text of the animal welfare regulations promulgated by the USDA to implement the Animal Welfare Act. It forms the basis for regulatory enforcement and inspection by the Department.
- National Institutes of Health (NIH) Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals
A complete copy of the 1996 Guide produced by the National Academy of Sciences. The Standards and recommendations incorporated into the Guide cover all aspects of animal welfare. The Guide is the basis for regulatory enforcement and inspection by both the NIH and the NY State Department of Health.
- American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) Panel on Euthanasia This publication contains the report of the AVMA panel covering all acceptable methods of euthanasia. Conditionally acceptable methods (those that may be used only under special conditions) are discussed as well. This document is the required standard for the selection of a method for euthanasia.
- USDA Policy Manual
The policy manual presents specific policies used by the USDA to expand on portions of the regulations, clarify specific issues, or provide interpretation of specific regulations. The policies are binding.
- The New York State Department of Health Documents available are the New York State law and regulations regarding proper conduct of "scientific tests, experiments or investigations, involving the use of living animals".