basic objective is to provide information that will enhance animal well-being, the quality of biomedical research, and the advancement of biologic knowledge that is relevant to humans or animals. It provides guidelines on institutional policies and responsibilities; animal environment, housing, and management; veterinary medical care; and physical plant. In making its recommendations, the Guide adopts a performance approach, in which users are charged with achieving well-specified animal-welfare outcomes but can determine individually how best to produce the outcomes, given the constraints and strengths of specific situations. That approach requires that investigators, veterinarians, and IACUCs use professional judgment in designing, reviewing, implementing, and overseeing animal care and use in research, testing, and teaching. Both PHS Policy and the Association for Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care International require that institutions base their programs of animal care and use on the Guide. The Guide is available online at http://dels.nas.edu/ilar.
The US Government Principles for the Utilization and Care of Vertebrate Animals Used in Testing, Research, and Training (US Government Principles) were drafted in 1985 by the Interagency Research Animal Committee (IRAC, 1985), made up of individuals drawn from federal agencies that use or require the use of animals in research or testing. Its nine statements address compliance with the AWA and other applicable federal laws, guidelines, and policies (such as AWRs, HREA, and the Guide) and generally provide a set of overarching principles for ensuring that the use of research animals is justified and humane. Compliance with the US Government Principles is mandated by the PHS Policy and the Guide. The US Government Principles are available online at http://grants1.nih.gov/grants/olaw/references/phspol.htm.
The Association for Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care International (AAALAC International) is a private, nonprofit organization that promotes the humane treatment of animals in science through a program of voluntary accreditation. Incorporated in 1965, AAALAC International uses the Guide as its primary reference document and augments it with reference resources in the peer-reviewed literature. Compliance with AAALAC International’s standards is determined through review of an institution’s detailed written description of its overall program of animal care and use, which is submitted in advance of a thorough on-site evaluation by a team of AAALAC