Animals, Care and Use of in Research and Education
To ensure that animal care and use on the University of Kansas Lawrence campus is performed in accordance with the United States Department of Agriculture Animal Welfare Act and Regulations and the Public Health Service Policy on Humane Care and Use of Laboratory Animals.
Persons affiliated with the University of Kansas, Lawrence campus, conducting research, and teaching involving vertebrate animals.
The use of animals in teaching and research at the University of Kansas, Lawrence campus, must comply with the following public laws, policies, and guidelines:
- Animal Welfare Act and Regulations, United States Department of Agriculture
- Public Health Service Policy on Humane Care and Use of Laboratory Animals, National Institutes of Health, Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare
- Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals, Institute of Laboratory Animal Resources Commission on Life Sciences, National Research Council
- American Veterinary Medical Association Guidelines for the Euthanasia of Animals: 2013 Edition
See the Animal Care Unit for elaboration of policies and procedures relevant to research involving vertebrate animals.
The policy does not apply to non-vertebrate animals or to office pets.
Reduction, Replacement, Refinement
It is the stated aim of all medical researchers to use as few animals and as responsibly as possible. Ultimately it would be ideal if the use of animals could be totally replaced by non-clinical methods. Unfortunately few of these currently exist and where they do they are often not yet fully accepted by the world's regulatory authorities. This means that the use of animals will continue for some time to come.
However, the search for alternatives continues and is guided by the principle of the 3 R's. This stands for:
In recent years there have been advances in non-animal techniques. These include computer modeling, cell cultures and in vitro (literally in glass - test tube) techniques. In some cases these techniques, can replace some of the existing animal tests but it will be many years before all animal tests will be made redundant by non-animal techniques.
Quite simply this means that fewer animals are being used in many areas of medical research. Scientists are now able to be more confident in the results they have achieved. This confidence means that fewer animals are required to be sure that the results are valid.
This concerns the manner in which the animals are treated. Refinements are methods that alleviate or minimize potential pain and distress and enhance animal well-being. Potential pain and distress can be avoided or alleviated with proper use of anesthetics, analgesics and tranquilizers. The principle of Refinement ensures that if an animal is involved in scientific research, it is treated with care and respect and suffers as little as possible.
It is a common misconception that animals are used because they offer a 'cheap alternative' to non-animal techniques. The reverse is in fact true.
AVMA: American Veterinary Medical Association
12/10/2018: Updated Contract section.
11/30/2018: Corrected spelling error.
06/01/2015: Updated applies to.
05/28/2015: Linked policy to updated Euthanasia Guidelines
05/27/2015: Updated purpose, applies to, link name, removed AAALAC link, updated contact info
12/18/2014: Fixed broken links due to Animal Care Unit's recent website update.
11/06/2014: Policy formatting cleanup (e.g., bolding, spacing).
06/16/2014: Updated Approved by to reflect official title but not individual name; updated links to policies and pages referenced.