Regulatory Resources

The Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare (OLAW) provides guidance and interpretation of the Public Health Service (PHS) Policy on Humane Care and Use of Laboratory Animals, supports educational programs, and monitors compliance with the Policy by Assured institutions and PHS funding components to ensure the humane care and use of animals in PHS-supported research, testing, and training, thereby contributing to the quality of PHS-supported activities.

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USDA Animal Care, a unit within the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, upholds and enforces the Animal Welfare Act (AWA).

The AWA, which became law in 1966, does not cover every type of animal used in every type of activity. The following animals are not covered: farm animals used for food or fiber (fur, hide, etc.); coldblooded species (amphibians and reptiles); horses not used for research purposes; fish; invertebrates (crustaceans, insects, etc.); or rats of the genus Rattus and mice of the genus Mus that are bred for use in research. Birds are covered under the AWA but the regulatory standards have not yet been established.

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AAALAC International is a private, nonprofit organization that promotes the humane treatment of animals in science through voluntary accreditation and assessment programs.

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