Policies, regulations and standards

A. Principles for animal care

The Institutional Animal and Care Use Committee (IACUC) endorses the United States Government Principles for the Utilization and Care of Vertebrate Animals Used in Testing, Research, and Training. These principles are also endorsed by the Association for Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care International, formerly known as the American Association for Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care (AAALAC). Additional information can be found at http://iacuc.wayne.edu/regulatory-and-accreditation.php

I. The transportation, care, and use of animals should be in accordance with the Animal Welfare Act (7 U.S.C. 2131 et seq.) and other applicable federal laws, guidelines, and policies.

II. Procedures involving animals should be designed and performed with due consideration of their relevance to human or animal health, the advancement of knowledge, or the good of society.

III. The animals selected for a procedure should be of an appropriate species and quality and the minimum number required to obtain valid results. Methods such as mathematical models, computer simulation, and in vitro biological systems should be considered.

IV. Proper use of animals, including the avoidance or minimization of discomfort, distress, and pain when consistent with sound scientific practices, is imperative. Unless the contrary is established, investigators should consider that procedures that cause pain or distress in humans may cause pain or distress in other animals.

V. Procedures with animals that may cause more than momentary or slight pain or distress should be performed with appropriate sedation, analgesia, or anesthesia. Surgical or other painful procedures should not be performed on unanesthetized animals paralyzed by chemical agents.

VI. Animals that would otherwise suffer severe or chronic pain or distress that cannot be relieved should be painlessly killed at the end of the procedure or, if appropriate, during the procedure.

VII. The living conditions of animals should be appropriate for their species and contribute to their health and comfort. Normally, the housing, feeding, and care of all animals used for biomedical purposes must be directed by a veterinarian or other scientist trained and experienced in the proper care, handling, and use of the species being maintained or studied. In any case, veterinary care shall be provided as indicated.

VIII. Investigators and other personnel shall be appropriately qualified and experienced for conducting procedures on living animals. Adequate arrangements shall be made for their in-service training, including the proper and humane care and use of laboratory animals.

XI. Where exceptions are required in relation to the provisions of these Principles, the decisions should not rest with the investigators directly concerned but should be made, with due regard to principle II. by an appropriate review group such as an institutional animal care and use committee. Such exceptions should not be made solely for the purposes of teaching or demonstration.

B. Laws, regulations and standards

General Information

Wayne State University (WSU) policies and procedures are designed to foster humane and responsible use of animals in research and education. The university strives to adhere to applicable laws, regulations and standards. Federal and state laws regulate animal welfare, the use of endangered species, and the use of controlled substances. The following section provides a brief synopsis of various laws, regulations and guidelines.

Rules and regulations, in addition to promoting the humane care and use of animals utilized in research, can be positive from the investigator's standpoint. Many times inspection of facilities can help resolve problems and provide justification for facility improvements. Favorable inspection reports can also help assure concerned citizens that research animals are well cared for and that facilities are appropriate.

Federal Animal Welfare Act

The Animal Welfare Act was enacted in 1966 and has been amended several times. Provisions of the Act are monitored by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Representatives of the USDA make periodic unannounced inspections to ensure compliance with regulations for housing, feeding, cleanliness, ventilation and veterinary care. They also review adherence to standards for postoperative care and for use of analgesic and anesthetic agents for potentially painful procedures.

Under the Animal Welfare Act, the university is required to have an Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) to oversee animal care and the use of animals.

U.S. Public Health Service Policy

The U.S. Public Health Service (PHS) has a Public Health Service Policy on Humane Care and Use of Animals. The policy applies to any institution receiving funding from any agency of the PHS including the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and a number of other government agencies. Institutions receiving PHS funding must follow the recommendations of the Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals. The PHS policy and guidelines apply to all species of vertebrate animals. The university is required to have an assurance statement on file with the NIH's Office for Protection from Research Risks (OPRR) stating how PHS policy is implemented. The Health Research Extension Act of 1985 codifies requirements for the U. S. Public Health Service Policy on the Humane Care and Use of Laboratory Animals.

References: Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals. 1985 and 1996 editions. Institute of Laboratory Animal Resources, Commission on Life Sciences, National Research Council, Washington, D.C.

Voluntary Professional Standards - AAALAC Accreditation

Wayne State University has had university-wide accreditation by AAALAC since 1977. This accreditation represents an independent peer review process which is voluntarily sought by institutions. The accreditation standards are rigorous. AAALAC accreditation is viewed by the PHS and other public and private funding sources as the best means to demonstrate that a grantee is supported by an animal care and use program maintaining high standards.

State laws

In addition to federal regulations, Michigan is one of the few states which has laws governing pet shops, animal shelters, dog pounds, riding stables, and research institutions. Two Michigan departments enforce these regulations. The Michigan Department of Agriculture inspections cover dogs and cats. The Michigan Department of Public Health regulations cover all living vertebrates.

Research facility regulations




Regulatory Enforcement and

Animal Care











Michigan Act

224, P.A. 1969

Regulation 150

Animal Welfare

Act, Code of Federal

Regulations Title IX (CFR 9)

National Institutes of Health: Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals



Dogs and Cats

Dogs, Cats, Rabbits,Hamsters, Guinea Pigs, Non-Human Primates, Marine Mammals, and Wild Animals

All Living Vertebrates




At Least Annually