Association for Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care International (AAALAC) is a private non-profit organization that promotes the humane treatment of animals in science through a voluntary accreditation program. The AAALAC International accreditation program evaluates organizations that use animals in research, teaching or testing. Those that exhibit excellence in animal care and use are awarded accreditation.
The accreditation process includes an extensive internal review conducted by the institution applying for accreditation. Next, AAALAC evaluators (members of AAALAC's Council on Accreditation) review the internal reports and conduct their own comprehensive assessment.
After an institution earns accreditation, it must be re-evaluated every three years in order to maintain its accredited status. Currently more than 650 organizations in 18 countries have earned AAALAC accreditation.
The AAALAC site contains useful resources on animal care and use and links to major international organisations with interests in laboratory animal science and animal welfare. The information for USA, Canada and Europe is very comprehensive.
ALTWEB is a web-based information resource which was created by the John Hopkins Center for Alternatives to Animal Testing (CAAT) to foster the development of scientifically acceptable alternatives to the use of animals in product testing and research.
Extensive resources and links can be found under thirty five categories (listed A-Z) including, anaesthesia and analgesia, best practices, educational resources, humane endpoints, pain and distress, rats, mice and birds, statistics, three R’s, and transgenics. The site also includes search templates and search tutorials.
Animal Ethics Today
This new website is produced at the Institute for Environment, Philosophy and Public Policy at Lancaster University and is part of the Bioethics Today Project that was recently launched in the UK.
The site contains very useful resources on animal ethics in the context of social science and bioethics as well as extensive on line bibliographies and external links on animal ethics, social sciences and bioethics. The site has been set up and is managed by Dr Richard Twine
Animal Welfare Centre
The NHMRC Animal Welfare Committee (AWC) has primary responsibility to advise the Research Committee of NHMRC on all matters pertaining to the conduct and ethics of animal experimentation.
The AWC also is responsible for the regular review and, if necessary, revision of the Code of Practice for the Care and Use of Animals for Experimental Purposes, and other NHMRC documents related to animal welfare.
Other policies which are available on-line are:
NHMRC Policy on the use of Non-Human Primates in Medical Research - background notes for investigators, animal ethics committees and animal care staff on the care and use of non-human primates in medical research.
NHMRC Guidelines on Monoclonal Antibody Production (2001) - this document was developed in response to recognition of the growing need for further emphasis on the principles of Replacement and Refinement as they apply to the use of animals for the production of monoclonal antibodies.
NHMRC Policy on the Care of Dogs used for Scientific Purposes - this policy has been developed by the Animal Welfare Committee (AWC) in response to the Committee's concern about the housing and care of dogs in some research and teaching institutions.
NHMRC Guidelines on the Use of Animals for Training Surgeons and Demonstrating New Surgical Equipment and Techniques - this document was developed in response to requests from Animal Ethics Committees (AECs) for guidance when they are considering applications for the use of animals to train surgeons in new techniques and how to use new technology.
The AWC publishes a newsletter which can be downloaded from their website.
Animal Welfare, University of Edinburgh
This site is produced and managed by Michael Cockram and students at the University of Edinburgh. It contains a wealth of useful links to webpages on animal husbandry and animal welfare.
Sections include: animal husbandry, animal welfare, transport, slaughter, legislation, animal health, food safety, animal behaviour, animal genetics and breeding and animal nutrition. It also covers farm, laboratory, wild animals and pets.
Major research interests of the group, in particular, animal pain, animal transport and animal behaviour. Contains information on pain in fish.
Australian & New Zealand Council for the Care of Animals in Research & Teaching (ANZCCART) was established in 1987 to be a national forum for effective communication between groups with concerns for the care and use of animals in research and teaching; in so doing, to provide leadership in developing community consensus on ethical, social and scientific issues relating to such activities. ANZCCART’s key objectives are to promote excellence in animal care, responsible use and informed discussion and debate in these matters.
ANZCCART publishes a quarterly newsletter (ANZCCART News) which can be downloaded from their website. Other on-line publications include a series of FACT sheets on a range of species including, the mouse, rat, guinea pig, rabbit, cat, dog, sheep, domestic chicken, Australian marsupials, frog and toad. Information about other publications, conference proceedings and future activities can be found on their website.
Animal Welfare Information Centre (AWIC), which is based in the USDA National Agricultural Library, is a major resource for information on animal welfare. Its primary role is to provide information which will improve the care and use of animals in research, teaching and product testing.
AWIC on-line resources include, links to databases, selected bibliographies on farm, companion and laboratory animals and wildlife and a comprehensive database on alternatives. AWIC also publishes a regular bulletin which is available on-line.
The Group is constituted as a forum for the open exchange of views on issues of concern related to the use of animals in science. Its objectives are to promote dialogue and, where there is consensus, to recommend practical steps towards achieving common goals.
The initial discussions of the Group focussed on the question of communication between the scientific and animal welfare / rights communities and on the quality and openness of the review process for project licence applications to use animals under the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986. Boyd Group publications available on-line:
- Ethical review of research involving animals: a role for institutional ethics committees? (March 1995)
- Advancing refinement of laboratory animal use (April 1998)
- The use of animals for testing cosmetics (July 1998)
- Genetic engineering: animal welfare and ethics (September 1999)
- The use of non-human primates in research and testing (June 2002)
The Johns Hopkins Center for Alternatives to Animal Testing (CAAT) was established in 1981 to find new methods to replace the use of laboratory animals in experiments, reduce the number of animals tested, and refine necessary tests to eliminate pain and distress. It is an academic, science-based center affiliated with the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public
Health: CAAT provides a variety of resources, including grants for scientists developing non-animal methods, workshops on alternative methods, books, newsletters, and other publications. CAAT also manages Altweb, an international online clearing house for information on alternative resources. http://caat.jhsph.edu
The purpose of the Canadian Council on Animal Care (CCAC) is to ensure, through programs of education and assessment that the use of animals, where necessary, for research, teaching and testing employs optimal physical and psychological care according to acceptable scientific standards, and to promote an increased level of knowledge, awareness and sensitivity to relevant ethical principles.
The CCAC has published the comprehensive and widely acknowledged Guide to the Care and Use of Experimental Animals (vols 1 & 2) , Volume 1 of which can be read online. Other publications include, guidelines on protocol review, transgenic animals, choosing a humane end-point and antibody production.
Center for Animal Welfare
This Center operates as a special unit at the University of Davis; to date it has organised a number of conferences on animal welfare issues and has a primary teaching role on the campus. Recently published guidelines on the Euthanasia of Poultry can be downloaded from the web site.
Centre for the Study of Animal Welfare
The Centre is a group of individuals with diverse interests and views, its primary goal being to promote the welfare of animals through research and education. The Centre is located at the University of Guelph, and includes the Chair of Animal Welfare and over 50 associated faculty. The Centre's expertise is drawn from its unique mix of intellectual and research disciplines including animal and poultry science, veterinary medicine, psychology, philosophy, genetics and zoology.
Research projects focus on:
- alternatives for the use of animals in teaching
- assessing animal well being
- enriching the lives of laboratory animals
- ethical issues of animal use
- animal breeding and genetic engineering
- humane husbandry systems
- alleviating animal suffering , and
- relationships between animals and people.
Publications which can be obtained from the Centre include, guidelines for feedlot cattle, including provision of shade, and reviews of the literature on the welfare of veal calves and humane methods of slaughter for poultry.
Ethology and Welfare Centre
The Ethology and Welfare Centre is a research group in the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Utrecht University. Its aims are to initiate, co-ordinate and encourage animal welfare research, to teach animal welfare as a subject within Utrecht University and to advise government and politicla organisations on animal welfare issues. A list of research activities, publications and contact details can be found on the website.
European Resource Centre for Alternatives in Higher Education (EURCA) was established in 2000 to actively promote the use of alternatives to using animals in higher education and as a mechanism for effective dissemination of useful information about alternatives to the higher education community.
It comprises a collection of (mostly) technology-based alternatives. Product information can be found on the EURCA website including basic descriptive information supplemented by reviews and evaluations. Information about EURCA projects also can be found on the website.
Fund for the Replacement of Animals in Medical Experiments (FRAME) is a charitable trust, founded in 1969. FRAME considers that the current scale of live animal experimentation is unacceptable and should not be allowed to continue but recognises that the immediate and total abolition of all animal experiments is not possible. FRAME seeks to promote a moderate, but nonetheless determined, approach to the question of the use of laboratory animals, by encouraging a realistic consideration of the ethical and scientific issues involved and the adoption of the Three Rs strategy.
FRAME’s main activities are in scientific research, publications and information services, legislative and regulatory reform, and public education. Its website has a lot of useful information about alternatives and the three R’s, including links to websites, very helpful search strategies and details of other useful resources. Also available on this site is a list of training materials on experimental design and statistical analysis which has been developed by the FRAME Reduction Committee.
FRAME publishes the journal ATLA (Alternatives to Laboratory Animals) which has an on-line index linked to the website and has also produced an excellent chart on strategies to achieve the three R’s in planning projects which may involve the use of animals. This Poster can be downloaded from: www.frame.org.uk/Images/EarlyPlanningPosterCompressed.pdf
An information resource for members and staff of institutional animal care and use committees (comparable to Animal Ethics Committees in Australia). It is a link archive where online resources are organized by menus and submenus. Many who browse the Internet for IACUC resources may find it overwhelming to randomly sift through the enormity of Web sites and their online materials.
IACUC.ORG was developed as an organizing tool to quickly point to a topic of interest. Useful links on IACUC.Org include information on alternatives, bibliographies and databases, USA and International legislation and related documents and guidelines on Training programs, resources and links to institutional programs in the USA.
Founded in 1952, the Institute for Laboratory Animal Research (ILAR) prepares authoritative reports on subjects of importance to the animal care and use community, it serves as a clearinghouse for information about animal resources and it develops and makes available scientific and technical information on laboratory animals and other biological research resources to the scientific community, members of institutional animal care and use committees (IACUCs), the federal government, science educators and students and the public.
A wealth of helpful information on a range of issues can be found on the ILAR site. In addition to over 100 links to selected sites, ILAR maintains a data bases on both animal models and strains and detailed information on the International Standards for Nomenclature for mice, rats and transgenic animals.
ILAR publishes the ILAR Journal (previously ILAR News) most recent issues of which are available on-line. Other ILAR publications include a number of books, reports and guidelines which can be viewed on-line, including, guidelines on the production of monoclonal antibodies and on the recognition and alleviation of pain and distress.
The full list of ILAR publications can be found on their site http://dels.nas.edu/ilar_n/ilarhome/ and may be purchased from the National Academy Press. Many titles can be read on-line.
Laboratory Animals Ltd
Laboratory Animals Ltd is a registered charity whose aims are to promote education and training in laboratory animal science. One way by which this is achieved is the publication of the journal Laboratory Animals which is the official publication of the UK, German, Dutch, Israeli, Swiss and Spanish Laboratory Animal Science Associations and of FELASA. An index of journal articles is available on-line. http://la.rsmjournals.com/
The Laboratory Animal site has a wealth of information including on-line reprints of working party reports and guidelines on euthanasia, recognising pain and distress, blood sampling techniques, husbandry of laboratory animals, humane end-points, health monitoring, the 3R’s (Replacement, Reduction and Refinement) and education of research and technical staff.
The site also has many selected links to other sites which provide information about, legislation and guidelines, professional associations, training and education and the 3R’s. Laboratory Animals also publishes a series of handbooks and digital material for trainers - purchasing information is provided on the site.
The Laboratory Animal Welfare Training Exchange (LAWTE) aims to promote an information exchange among those involved in delivering animal welfare programs to those who work with laboratory animals.
Information about LAWTE activities can be found on its website as well as information about training programs, materials and services. A listserv allows members to share ideas and to discuss specific issues.
This new Centre (National Centre for the Replacement, Refinement and Reduction of Animals in Research) provides a focus for the promotion, development and implementation of the 3Rs in animal research, and replaces and builds upon the Medical Research Council’s Centre for Best Practice for Animals in Research (CBPAR).
The Netherlands Centre Alternatives to Animal Use (NCA) is the central point in the Netherlands for coordinating research and disseminating information on alternatives to animal experiments. One of its important tasks is to support the Alternatives to Animal Experiments Platform, in which the Dutch government, industry and animal protection organisations collaborate.
The NCA also supports the activities of the Programme Committee Alternatives to animal experimentation of the Dutch Health Research and Development Council (ZON) and maintains a data base of research projects which can be searched on-line.
On-line resources include the NCA Newsletter and full reports of a workshop on Alternatives in Education which was held at Utrech in 2001 and Strategies during Citations Searches, a 2002 workshop.
Another very useful report which can be found under ‘documents' is a Report on the Use, Trade and Harvest of Livestock Sera including Fetal Calf Serum.
The NORINA database contains detailed factual information on over 3.600 audiovisual aids and other alternatives that may be used as a replacement to animal or use as a supplement to reduce the numbers of animals used in a situation where total replacement is not possible.
To aid searching, records have been sorted into over 30 types e/g/ CD_ROM, video-film etc., and into one or more of over 30 categories e.g. anatomy, physiology etc. A detailed data sheet is provided for each item which includes a detailed description, supplier details and related reference resources.
Nuffield Council on Bioethics
This is an independent body established by the Trustees of the Nuffield Foundation in 1991 to consider the ethical issues arising from developments in medicine and biology. The Council is funded jointly by the Nuffield Foundation, The Wellcome Trust and the Medical Research Council.
The Council plays a major role in contributing to policy-making and stimulating debate in bioethics. Once the Council has identified a topic for investigation, it establishes a multidisciplinary group with the relevant expertise to examine and report on the issue. Topics considered to date include:
- Genetic Screening: Ethical Issues
- Human Tissue: Ethical and Legal Issues
- Animal-to-Human Transplants: the Ethics of Xenotransplantation
- Genetically modified crops: the ethical and social issues
- Stem cell therapy: ethical issues
- The ethics of patenting DNA
Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare (OLAW) is responsible for the administration and implementation of the Public Health Service (PHS) Policy on Humane Care and Use of Laboratory Animals in the USA. Located in the National Institutes of Health, OLAW administers an education program and evaluates compliance with PHS Policy.
Information on policies, laws and guidelines is available on-line and there is an on-line tutorial on PHS Policy. The link, 'Index to OLAW Guidance' provides a lot of very useful information on guidelines on methods and techniques, notionally for implementing PHS Policy, but which are widely applicable.
Education and training resources published by OLAW include CD-ROMS on working safely with non-human primates and with dogs and training in survival rodent surgery and a guidebook for IACUC members (which can be downloaded from the website). The site also publishes a list of links to web-based resources for IACUCs. http://grants.nih.gov/grants/olaw/olaw.htm
Public Responsibility in Medicine and Research (PRIM&R) has been committed to the advancement of strong research programs and to the consistent application of ethical precepts in both medicine and research. Through national conferences and published reports it has addressed a broad range of issues in biomedical and behavioral research, clinical practice, ethics, and the law.
Topics addressed by PRIM&R include: The ethical and procedural issues surrounding the operation of Institutional Animal Care and Use Committees (IACUCs); educating for the responsible conduct of research; scientific integrity and conflicts of interest; and the general range of questions surrounding academic/industrial relations.
By providing a multidisciplinary forum for addressing such issues, PRIM&R hopes to help educate the medical and legal professions, the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries, and the public about the ethical, legal and policy dimensions of appropriate and ethical biomedical research and clinical practice.
Principal Investigators Association
The stated mission of the association is "to create a sharing network and community among scientists in all fields of research". It has a focus on laboratory animal welfare.
Queensland DPI - Animal Welfare
This site contains an very helpful discussion papers on Animal Welfare and Ethics and Environmental enrichment.
The Scientists Center for Animal Welfare (SCAW) is a nonprofit educational association of individuals and institutions whose mission is to promote humane care, use, and management of animals involved in research, testing or education in laboratory, agriculture, wildlife or other settings.
SCAW’s ongoing activities include providing information about, regulations and guidelines, ethical issues, Institutional Animal Care and Use Committees, performance standards, protocol review, facility design, recognizing pain and distress, the relationship between people and animals in a research setting, genetic engineering and animal welfare, and alternative research methods.
SCAW does this through conferences, seminars and publications that explore scientific and ethical matters related to research activities and animal well-being - these meetings and books are sponsored by SCAW in cooperation with other national and regional organizations. SCAW’s conferences, seminars and publications have been well-received and are widely accepted.
A list of SCAW publications and information for purchase can be found on the site. www.scaw.com/
The University of California Center for Animal Alternatives (UCCAA) was established to improve the well-being and quality of life of research animals but also to optimize their contribution to education and research through the collection and dissemination of information on alternatives.
The site contains valuable resources on alternatives in education (resources, organisations and policies), humane endpoint, environmental enrichment, monoclonal antibodies, the 3R’s, (Replacement, Reduction and Refinement).
A very useful feature of this site is the tools which have been developed to facilitate searches of databases. There is an extensive guide on searching for alternatives as well as on-line ‘search templates’ to search for information on human-animal interactions in the laboratory, refinement of research methods with mice and the study of animals in the wild.
UFAW is a scientific and technical animal welfare organisation. UFAW was founded in 1926 and since then has played a considerable role in improving conditions for animals. This success is not only the result of UFAW's approach to animal welfare problems but also because it is independent and not beholden to universities, government departments or commercial enterprises.
UFAW seeks to use scientific knowledge and established expertise to improve the welfare of animals kept as pets, in zoos, laboratories, and on farms and of wild animals with which we interact. UFAW funds research, holds symposia, gives advice to Government and others and produces publications on animal welfare.
UFAW publishes the journal Animal Welfare, and from time to time will publish a special issue on a selected topic, for example, a recent special issue on Consciousness, Cognition, and Animal Welfare.
UFAW publishes a number of authoritative texts on the care and management of laboratory and farm animals, crustaceans and cephalopods as well as guidelines on handling and training of animals, pain, analgesia and anaesthesia, and planning and design of experiments.
UFAW also has produced a number of training videos, including "Environmental Enrichment - Advancing Animal Welfare". Information about all UFAW publications and ordering information can be found on the website.