The University of Michigan Animal Care & Use Program operates according to the policies, standards, and guidelines set by the University, the State of Michigan, and the United States Government, which require a review of animal activities to ensure the humane treatment and judicious use of vertebrate animals.
These rules and regulations are in place to ensure that the animals used in research, teaching, and testing under University auspices are provided with the best possible treatment and care under their particular circumstances. At the U-M, the Institutional Animal Care & Use Committee, with assistance from the Animal Care & Use Office, is responsible for assuring that all projects adhere to University policies and federal laws.
A brief summary of federal rules and regulations concerning animal care, use, and welfare that govern animal research at the U-M are outlined below:
- Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare (OLAW):
The Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare is a division of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and the regulating body for all activities funded by the federal government, including the NIH and NSF. OLAW's primary standards are the Public Health Service Policy on Humane Care and Use of Laboratory Animals (PHS Policy), and the Guide for the Care and Use of Animals (Guide).
- United States Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service:
The U.S. Department of Agriculture, APHIS, oversees activities involving the use of vertebrate animals at government registered research institutions. The USDA receives its authority through federal law (Code of Federal Regulations, Title 7 and 9). Veterinary Medical Officers enforcing the 7 and 9 CFRs inspect research organizations at least annually.
- Specific funding sources, such as the Department of Defense, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, and foundations, may require additional rules and regulations. Institutions receiving money from these organizations are responsible for following any other requirements for the humane care and treatment of any vertebrate animal used in field or laboratory research and educational training.
In addition to adhering to the standards governing laboratory animal care and use, the University of Michigan's Animal Care & Use Program is accredited by AAALAC International, a private non-profit organization that promotes the humane treatment of animals in science through voluntary program assessments and subsequent accreditation.