Welcome to the Center for Comparative Medicine

The mission of the Center for Comparative Medicine is to support biomedical research and teaching that utilizes laboratory animals. The Center does this in a manner which promotes the policies set by the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) whose charge is to oversee compliance by personnel at the University of Virginia with federal regulations and guidelines. Federal guidelines have been established which promote the humane care and use of laboratory animals in research and teaching. These regulations are concerned in part with the following areas:

  1. Sanitary and species appropriate husbandry practices
  2. Daily health observations
  3. Disease prevention
  4. Veterinary care
  5. Appropriate analgesia and anesthesia for procedures which cause more than momentary pain or discomfort
  6. Training of research staff in regulations and biomethodologies
  7. IACUC review of proposed activities involving laboratory animals in research and teaching

The University is accredited by the Association for the Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care, International (AAALAC). AAALAC is an independent accreditation body which uses the standards outlined in the Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals [ILAR] and the Animal Welfare Act (CFR 9) as amended (P. L. 94-279) as minimum criteria in evaluating research programs which use laboratory animals. AAALAC accreditation is recognized by research funding agencies as identifying national research institutions which have an acceptable level of standards in the operating procedures and practices of their laboratory animal program.

The use of laboratory animals constitutes a privilege which the American public has entrusted to the scientific community. Therefore, it is incumbent upon each investigator and every member of his or her staff to fulfill all moral, ethical, and legal responsibilities inherent in using laboratory animals in research and teaching.


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