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Date:  June 2, 2010

Contacts:  Jennifer Walsh, Media Relations Officer

Alison Burnette, Media Relations Assistant

Office of News and Public Information

202-334-2138; e-mail <>




Updated Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals Released


WASHINGTON -- The National Research Council today released an updated edition of the Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals, which recommends standards and practices to research scientists and their institutions for the humane care and treatment of animals in research, testing, or teaching.  Last published in 1996, the guide's latest edition contains expanded chapters and sections on ethical principles for working with laboratory animals; guidelines for institutions to establish and maintain an Animal Care and Use Program; housing and environment standards for land and aquatic animals; standards for a veterinary and clinical care program and responsibilities of the attending veterinarian; and requirements for an institution's overall physical facility design.


The guide takes into consideration the federal Animal Welfare Act and endorses the U.S. Government Principles for the Utilization and Care of Vertebrate Animals Used in Testing, Research, and Training.  It is also a nationally and internationally accepted primary reference on animal care and use and the basis for accreditation by the Association for Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care International.


The committee that updated the guide based its recommendations on published data, scientific principles, expert opinion, and experience with methods and practices consistent with high-quality humane animal care and use.  Updates to the guide include:

·      an endorsement of "the three Rs" -- replacement, refinement, and reduction -- as principles to employ when using animals in research and designing humane animal research studies

·      a holistic approach to institutional Animal Care and Use Programs, defining them as the sum of the activities that directly impact the well-being of laboratory animals

·      a new section on care and use of aquatic species

·      a new section on creating a disaster and emergency plan that identifies necessary steps for use in catastrophic events

·      expanded sections on how to properly transport animals

·      a definition of animal biosecurity -- measures taken to prevent and control unwanted diseases -- and proper practices

·      new material on veterinary clinical care and management

·      new and updated information on physical plant-related topics, such as special design facilities and hazardous agent containment


In addition, the guide emphasizes the need to house all social animals, particularly monkeys, in compatible pairs or larger groups of compatible animals.  The committee, which minimally changed space recommendations, noted that further study of space and housing needs -- as well as the best methods for providing enrichment, exercise, and human contact for laboratory animals -- is required.


A public briefing with committee members to discuss the guide's recommendations will be held at 11 a.m. EDT on Tuesday, June 8, at the Washington Plaza Hotel, 10 Thomas Circle, N.W., Washington, D.C.   


The report was sponsored by the National Institutes of Health; Association for Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care International; Office of Research Integrity, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; U.S. Department of Agriculture; Abbott Fund; Pfizer; American College of Laboratory Animal Medicine; American Society of Laboratory Animal Practitioners; American Association for Laboratory Animal Science; and Association of Primate Veterinarians.


The National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, Institute of Medicine, and National Research Council make up the National Academies.  They are independent, nonprofit institutions that provide science, technology, and health policy advice under an 1863 congressional charter.  Committee members, who serve pro bono as volunteers, are chosen by the Academies for each study based on their expertise and experience and must satisfy the Academies' conflict-of-interest standards.  The resulting consensus reports undergo external peer review before completion.  For more information, visit  A committee roster follows.

Copies of Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals are available from the National Academies Press; tel. 202-334-3313 or 1-800-624-6242 or on the Internet at  Reporters may obtain a copy from the Office of News and Public Information (contacts listed above). 


[ This news release and report are available at ]



Division on Earth and Life Studies

Institute for Laboratory Animal Research


Committee for the Update of the Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals

Janet C. Garber (chair)
Garber Consulting
Pinehurst, N.C.

Robert Wayne Barbee
Associate Professor and Associate Director of Research
Department of Emergency Medicine
School of Medicine
Virginia Commonwealth University

Joseph T. Bielitzki
Research Manager
University of Central Florida

Leigh Ann Clayton
Director of Animal Health
National Aquarium

John C. Donovan
BioResources Inc.
Weston, Vt.

Dennis F. Kohn
Professor Emeritus of Clinical Comparative Pathology
Columbia University
New York City

Neil S. Lipman
Center of Comparative Medicine and Pathology
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and
Weill Medical College
Cornell University
New York City

Paul A. Locke
Associate Professor
Department of Environmental Health Sciences
Bloomberg School of Public Health
Johns Hopkins University

The Honorable John Melcher
United States Senate (retired)
Missoula, Mont.


Fred W. Quimby
Associate Vice President
Rockefeller University (retired)
New York City

Patricia V. Turner
Associate Professor, and
Program Leader of Laboratory Animal Science,
Department of Pathobiology
University of Guelph
Guelph, Ontario

Geoffrey A. Wood
Associate Professor
Department of Pathobiology
Ontario Veterinary College
University of Guelph
Guelph, Ontario

Hanno Würbel
Professor of Animal Welfare and Ethology
Justus-Liebig University
Giessen, Germany




Lida Anestidou

Study Director