Research involving animals has played an essential role in almost all major biomedical advances during the last century, leading to discoveries that have greatly improved both human and animal health.
Thanks to animal research, many diseases that once killed millions of people every year are either preventable, treatable, or have been eradicated altogether. For example, immunizations against polio, diphtheria, mumps, rubella and hepatitis have saved countless lives. In addition, the survival rates from many other major diseases are at an all-time high, thanks to the discovery of powerful new drugs, the design of sophisticated medical devices, and the development of new surgical procedures, all made possible, in part, through animal research. Biomedical research with lab animals also advances veterinary medicine and helps companion animals live longer, happier and healthier lives.
The University of Nebraska Medical Center is committed to ensuring that animal research on its campus conforms with all federal requirements, while also maintaining the highest standards of animal care and health. UNMC’s animal care and use program was among the first to be accredited by the Association for Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care International, which represents achievement of the gold standard of animal care and use programs. The accreditation process includes continuing peer review of the animal use program by internationally recognized experts. The U.S. Department of Agriculture also conducts unannounced inspections at UNMC annually. UNMC educates and trains faculty and all other personnel involved in animal research activities on the promotion of animal well-being. UNMC takes seriously its role to rigorously oversee animal research, and a staff led by veterinarians ensures animals are housed and cared for in quality-controlled environmental conditions.