This guide was created to support researchers at UofL in fulfilling the information requirements of the Animal Welfare Act (AWA). Principal investigators are required by law to examine alternatives to potentially painful procedures in animal research. Understanding the rules, regulations, and requirements when using animal models are essential to research best practices and meeting funder requirements.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is the governing body responsible for enforcing animal welfare legislation passed by Congress. The Animal Welfare Information Center (AWIC) is part of the USDA National Agricultural Library (NAL).
The Animal Welfare Act has become the principal Federal statute that governs the sale, handling, transport and use of animals.
The Public Health Services Policy (PHS) Policy on Humane Care and Use of Laboratory Animals (PHS Policy) is broader than the Animal Welfare Act in that it covers all species of vertebrate animals, including rats, mice, and birds. The Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare (OLAW) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) is responsible for enforcement of the PHS Policy.
The Policy is outlined in The Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals (known as the "Guide") which is put out by the National Academy of Sciences with the backing of the Institute for Laboratory Animal Research. The Guide
Animal research involves many different groups of people including veterinarians, animal caretakers and technicians, and the investigators and their research staff. Any organization where animal research is conducted is required to have an Animal Care and Use Program (ACUP). The ACUP is a framework for coordinating the groups involved in animal research as well as the Institutional Official and the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) and its staff. Visit the UofL IACUC site.