Federal laws and policies regarding the use of animals in research, education, and testing have progressed rapidly from the first enunciation of principles for the care of laboratory animals in the early days of NIH and the first animal welfare laws passed in 1966. Early policy had limited effects on the use of animals because of the generally careful practice standards already in place as well as the lack of enforcement of the new policy. Several U.S. programs and institutions had their funding suspended in the early 1980s, with increased USDA inspections and subsequent violations at numerous institutions in the years that followed, all of which serve as a warning that all animal-care policies must be followed (Rozmiarek). The evolution of policies for animal care and use shows a trend toward increased responsibility for and supervision by IACUCs, with greater emphasis on the level of assurances institutions must give, on IACUC membership, on the process of protocol review, and on the committee's power in matters involving activities using animals. This has resulted in more scrutiny of the care and use of animals in scientific research. The regulations in effect are comprehensive and, if followed, result in excellent care for animals. The penalties for not adhering to the regulations are great enough to encourage compliance and will assure that the privilege of using animals in research is carried out in a humane and careful manner.


SEE ALSO: Animal Welfare and Rights; Law and Morality;

Research Policy: Historical Aspects; Xenotransplantation;

and other Animal Research subentries

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