All use and care of animals in research must comply with the Animal Welfare Act, the Public Health Service policy and guidelines formulated by the National Institutes of Health. UNMC’s animal resource facilities are managed by the Office of Comparative Medicine. This department is led by a veterinarian who is board certified in the veterinary specialty of Laboratory Animal Medicine and a certified staff of animal technologists, who are responsible for the proper care of the animals.
The animal care facilities at UNMC, as well as the program that uses and cares for the animals used in research, are inspected at least annually by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The visits are unannounced. Every three years, the Association for the Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care visits UNMC and performs a peer review site visit to ensure that accreditation guidelines are followed. Every six months, the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee performs an additional program review and inspects all animal facilities. The UNMC animal care and use program has been accredited by AAALAC since 1966, one of the oldest accreditations on record.
Regulations and guidelines for animal care and use followed at UNMC include:
- The USDA Animal Welfare Act and other Federal Legislation
- The USDA Animal care Policy Manual
- The US Public Health Service Policyon Humane Care and Use of Laboratory Animals
- The Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals, (NAP, 2011)
- The Rules of Accreditation of the Association for Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care, (AAALAC, International)
- The UNMC/UNO IACUC Guidelines and Policies for the Care and Use of Live Vertebrate Animals
- Other applicable state regulations