Humane Care

Humane care means those actions taken to ensure that laboratory animals are treated according to high ethical and scientific standards. Implementation of a humane care program, and creation of a laboratory environment in which humane care and respect for animals are valued and encouraged, underlies the core requirements of the Guide and the system of self-regulation it supports (Klein and Bayne 2007).

Animal Care and Use Program

The animal care and use program (the Program) means the policies, procedures, standards, organizational structure, staffing, facilities, and practices put into place by an institution to achieve the humane care and use of animals in the laboratory and throughout the institution. It includes the establishment and support of an IACUC or equivalent ethical oversight committee and the maintenance of an environment in which the IACUC can function successfully to carry out its responsibilities under the Guide and applicable laws and policies. Chapter 2 provides a more expansive discussion of the importance of the Guide and its application to animal care and use programs.

Engineering, Performance, and Practice Standards

Engineering standard means a standard or guideline that specifies in detail a method, technology, or technique for achieving a desired outcome; it does not provide for modification in the event that acceptable alternative methods are available or unusual circumstances arise. Engineering standards are prescriptive and provide limited flexibility for implementation. However, an engineering standard can be useful to establish a baseline and is relatively easy to use in evaluating compliance.


Performance standard means a standard or guideline that, while describing a desired outcome, provides flexibility in achieving this outcome by granting discretion to those responsible for managing the animal care and use program, the researcher, and the IACUC. The performance approach requires professional input, sound judgment, and a team approach to achieve specific goals. It is essential that the desired outcomes and/or goals be clearly defined and appropriate performance measures regularly monitored in order to verify the success of the process. Performance standards can be advantageous because they accommodate the consideration of many variables (such as the species and previous history of the animals, facilities, staff



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