University of Washington Policy Directory

Print This Page
*Formerly part of the University Handbook
Administrative Policy Statement

Animal Use

(Approved by the Vice President for Medical Affairs by authority of Executive Order No. 6)

1.  Policy

The University of Washington assumes responsibility for the humane treatment of animals used in research, teaching, and other activities. The institution is guided by laws and regulations set forth by the Federal government. Compliance with these regulations is expected of the various University units involved in the use of animals. To assist in such compliance and to ensure humane treatment of animals, the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC), appointed by the Executive Director for Health Sciences Administration, periodically inspects the animal facilities of the University, evaluates the care of animals in the context of regulations, and reports to the Executive Director for Health Sciences Administration on a semiannual basis (Executive Order No. 53).

2.  The Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee

The Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) is appointed by the Executive Director for Health Sciences Administration, under authority delegated from the President, to oversee and make recommendations to University officials regarding the institution's use of animals. Committee activities include:

  • Review of the animal care and use program.

  • Inspection of all animal housing and use areas (including laboratories).

  • Review of concerns presented involving the animal program.

  • Review, approve, require modifications for approval, or withhold approval of proposed use of animals in teaching, testing, and research.

  • Review and monitor animal use in progress and suspend studies not performed as approved or not in compliance with regulations.

  • Ensure all personnel performing animal use procedures are properly trained.

The Association for Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care, International (AAALAC) is the voluntary, nongovernmental organization for accreditation of laboratory animal care facilities and programs. Continuing AAALAC accreditation for the entire campus is a goal for the University. The standards by which AAALAC judges animal programs are set forth in the Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals, published by the Institute of Laboratory Animal Resources (ILAR), National Research Council. These standards constitute the primary set of guidelines for animal care and use at the University.

3.  Policy for Obtaining Animals

The University's policy, based on federal U.S.D.A. regulations, is that all nonhuman primates must be procured through the Regional Primate Research Center (RPRC), and other animals must be procured through the Department of Comparative Medicine, irrespective of use (teaching or research), funding source, or school/college involved. This procurement policy complies with federal regulations, implements a preventive medicine program that includes the certification of suppliers based on the health status of their animals, and makes certain that space, caging, and care meet accreditation standards prior to the receipt of animals.

4.  Attending Veterinarian

The University Attending Veterinarian (UAV) is charged to establish and maintain a program of adequate veterinary care. The UAV or his/her designee has final authority regarding the health and welfare of the animals used in University protocols, the necessity for and components of treatments administered, and the necessity for euthanasia. Regulations require consultation with the UAV or his/her designee regarding the design of all studies involving more than momentary pain.

5.  Departmental Facilities

Several departments maintain their own animal facilities. The animal care program of each facility is responsible to the Executive Director for Health Sciences Administration through the UAV. The departmental facilities must be approved by the UAV and are regularly visited by Department of Comparative Medicine personnel and IACUC members to ensure compliance with regulations, adequate veterinary care, and the humane care of animals.

6.  Hazardous Agents

The use of hazardous agents on animals must be approved by and comply with the requirements of the pertinent University committee: Biohazard Committee, Chemical Agent Safety Committee, Radiation Safety Committee, or Recombinant DNA Committee.

7.  Animal Care Concerns

Any University staff or member of the public who becomes aware of what he or she believes to be an abuse of animals used in a University teaching or research program has a responsibility and right to notify the IACUC and have the concern/complaint investigated. Concerns involving animal care and use at the University can be brought to the attention of the Executive Secretary of the IACUC at:

  • Phone: 206-543-3818
  • Campus mail: Box 357190
  • Email:

The IACUC and/or the UAV will investigate reported concerns.

8.  Additional Information

Further information regarding the care and use of animals is contained in the Department of Comparative Medicine's Information Manual. For information regarding use of nonhuman primates, contact the Director of the RPRC at:

  • Phone: 206-543-1430
  • Campus mail: Box 357330

May 1, 2002.