Athens, Ga. – The University of Georgia research animal resources program has received full accreditation by the Association for Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care International, the organization that grants accreditation to institutions that use animals in research.
Chris King, UGA assistant vice president for research and director of the animal care and use program, said that university officials were notified in early March in a letter from the AAALAC that commends UGA for “…providing and maintaining a high quality program of laboratory animal care and use.”
Accreditation by AAALAC, a voluntary program, is the gold standard for quality of animal care and use in research. Accredited institutions must meet or exceed rigorous standards to ensure the high-quality care and welfare of research animals. Programs are reviewed every three years.
The letter specifically commended the administration’s strong support and funding provided for the centralized animal program and facilities, as well as the generally excellent animal health status, level of animal care, facility maintenance and sanitation in animal facilities.
UGA animal care and use personnel drew special praise.The AAALAC letter commended “…their dedication, level of expertise, and efforts to provide a quality program; the posting of protocol information and endpoints in the animal rooms in several animal facilities, leading to increased knowledge and engagement on the part of the animal husbandry staff, and overall welfare and human treatment of the animals.”
The letter also cited the Aquatic Biotechnology and Ecology Laboratory fish facilities, as well as the medical records department for the blood donor horses, as models for other programs.
“This accreditation is a point of pride for our office and for UGA,” said David Lee, UGA vice president for research. “We are especially proud of the commendation for the efforts of the many faculty, staff and students to assure quality in this aspect of the university’s research program.”
“Ensuring the humane and appropriate use of animals in meeting our research and instructional mission is vital to high quality science and securing the trust of all of our stakeholders,” said King.
For more information on the UGA research animal resources program, see www.ovpr.uga.edu/urar/.