Research Animals

Resources about laboratory animals used in biomedical research including legislation, publications, training, meetings, and organizations.


Symposium on Social Housing of Laboratory Animals (2016)

USDA. NAL. Animal Welfare Information Center.

The following are a selection of presentations from a symposium that was co-hosted by NIH, USDA, OLAW, UC Davis School of Veterinarian Medicine, and Johns Hopkins Center for Alternatives to Animal Testing (CAAT) on March 17-18, 2016 at the University of California, Davis School of Veterinarian Medicine in Davis, California.

Symposium on Social Housing of Laboratory Animals (2014)

USDA. NAL. Animal Welfare Information Center.

A selection of presentations from a symposium (link is external) that was co-hosted by NIH, USDA, OLAW, University of Colorado-Denver - Anschutz Medical Center, and the Johns Hopkins Center for Alternatives to Animal Testing (CAAT) on October 5-6, 2014 at the University of Colorado-Denver - Anschutz Medical Center in Denver, Colorado.

Image of a white laboratory rabbit. Animal Welfare Act and Regulations

The Animal Welfare Act was signed into law in 1966. It is the only Federal law in the United States that regulates the treatment of animals in research, exhibition, transport, and by dealers. Other laws, policies, and guidelines may include additional species coverage or specifications for animal care and use, but all refer to the Animal Welfare Act as the minimum acceptable standard. The Act is enforced by the USDA, APHIS, Animal Care agency.

Symposium on Social Housing of Laboratory Animals (2013)

USDA. NAL. Animal Welfare Information Center.

A selection of presentations from a symposium that was co-hosted by NIH, USDA, OLAW, The Enrichment Record, and the Johns Hopkins Center for Alternatives to Animal Testing (CAAT) on August 22-23, 2013 at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Natcher Center in Bethesda, Maryland.

Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals

National Research Council.

Provides information that will enhance animal well-being, the quality of biomedical research, and the advancement of biologic knowledge that is relevant to humans or animals.

Diseases of Research Animals

University of Missouri - Comparative Medicine Program and IDEXX-RADIL.

An online tool designed for veterinarians, veterinary students and residents involved in the care of animal species commonly used in research.

Recognizing Pain in Animals

National Academies of Science. Institute for Laboratory Animal Research.

The National Academies have developed a free online resource to help those who care for and use laboratory animals, farm animals, and pets to prevent, recognize, and alleviate pain in different types of animals, from non-human primates to fish. The web site is related to a 2009 report on the Recognition and Alleviation of Pain in Laboratory Animals.

International Guiding Principles for Biomedical Research Involving Animals (PDF | 140 KB)

Council for International Organizations of Medical Sciences (CIOMS).

Often referred to as the CIOMS Principles, this document provides criteria for establishing codes of practice or legislation about the use of animals in scientific research. Text of the 1985 guidelines is available here. *UPDATED


Norwegian Reference Centre for Laboratory Animal Science & Alternatives.

Searchable database of approximately 1500 text books within the field of laboratory animal science.

Rhesus monkeys grooming Environmental Enrichment for Nonhuman Primates Resource Guide, 2016

USDA. NAL. Animal Welfare Information Center.

A bibliographic resource on nonhuman primate enrichment, including relevant web links, organizations, and product information.

Guidelines to Promote the Wellbeing of Animals Used for Scientific Purposes: The Assessment and Alleviation of Pain and Distress in Research Animals

Australian Government. National Health and Medical Research Council.

Published in 2008 to be used by investigators and members of institutional ethics committees in Australia, this document is also relevant to people that conduct, review or manage research with animals all over the world.

NIH Model Organisms for Biomedical Research

National Institutes of Health.

This web site provides you with information about national and international activities and major resources that are being developed to facilitate biomedical research using the animal models, such as mice, rats, frogs, zebrafish, fruit fly, round worm, amoebae, fungus, yeast and plants.

Images of a dog and a cat GAO Report: USDA's Oversight of Dealers of Random Source Dogs and Cats

Government Accountability Office.

The September 2010 results and recommendations from a GAO study of USDA's oversight of Class B dealers, suggesting that the oversight would benefit from additional management information and analysis.

Newcastle Consensus Meeting on Carbon Dioxide Euthanasia of Laboratory Animals, February 2006 (PDF | 123KB)

In February 2006 a meeting was held at the University of Newcastle in the United Kingdom to bring together scientists who have examined CO2 as a euthanasia agent.

The Ethics of Research Involving Animals

Nuffield Council on Bioethics.

This report is available in full and as a summary on the site. The working group raised moral and ethical questions regarding the use of animals in research.

Canadian Council on Animal Care (CCAC) Guidelines

Canadian Council on Animal Care.

Includes guidelines for animals used in research. Topics covered include transgenic animals, fish, wildlife, antibody production, laboratory animal facilities, appropriate endpoints, animal use protocol review and animal user training. Additional guidelines are developed in response to current and emerging needs of the research community and advances in laboratory animal care. Also see their Guide to the Care and Use of Experimental Animals, Vol. 1, 1993(PDF | 2.3MB).

Public Health Service (PHS) Policy on Humane Care and Use of Laboratory Animals

National Institutes of Health. Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare

Includes the U.S. Government Principles for the Utilization and Care of Vertebrate Animals Used in Testing, Research and Training as well as the Health Research Extension Act of 1985 (Public Law 99-158, "Animals in Research," November 20, 1985), which provides the statutory mandate for the PHS Policy.

Animal Welfare Policy Statements

American Veterinary Medical Association.

Position statements covering recommendations on antimicrobial use, euthanasia, abuse, pain, and other important animal welfare concerns.

Center for Animal Welfare at UC Davis

University of California, Davis.

Headquartered in the Department of Animal Science, they provide information on issues related to animal welfare and develop practical methods of improving the quality of life for animals.

Ventilation Design Handbook on Animal Research Facilities Using Static Microisolators, 1998

DHHS. NIH. Office of Research Services.

This publication is a definitive research report on how the room environment affects animal care. Volumes I and II are no longer available in print and can only be downloaded from this site.

NASA Principles for the Ethical Care and Use of Animals

National Air and Space Administration.

The following principles are offered to guide careful and considered discussion of the ethical challenges that arise in the course of animal research, a process that must balance risks, burdens and benefits

Euroguide On the Accommodation and Care of Animals Used for Experimental and Other Scientific Purposes

Federation of European Laboratory Animal Science Associations.

This guide provides an abbreviated version of the revised Appendix A of the European Convention for the Protection of Vertebrate Animals used for Experimental and other Scientific Purposes.

Occupational Health and Safety in the Care and Use of Research Animals, 1997

National Academy of Sciences. Institute for Laboratory Animal Research.

This book is about the occupational health and safety of institutional employees, visitors and students who might be exposed to hazards during the course of their work with research animals.

Plan for the Use of Animals in Research, 1993

DHHS. National Institutes of Health.

This plan was drafted by an Interagency Coordinating Committee for the Use of Animals in Research and contains information on research initiatives, information dissemination and training.

Lab Animal Welfare

American Physiological Society.

Links to internet resources on animals in research and education including government agencies.

Guidelines for Ethical Conduct in the Care and Use of Animals

American Psychological Association. Committee on Animal Research and Ethics.

These guidelines were developed for use by psychologists working with nonhuman animals and discuss personnel, research justification, care and housing, acquisition of animals, experimental design, field research, and educational use of animals.