Must indicates actions that the Committee for the Update of the Guide considers imperative and mandatory duty or requirement for providing humane animal care and use. Should indicates a strong recommendation for achieving a goal; however, the Committee recognizes that individual circumstances might justify an alternative strategy. May indicates a suggestion to be considered.

The Guide is written in general terms so that its recommendations can be applied in diverse institutions and settings that produce or use animals for research, teaching, and testing. This approach requires that users, IACUCs, veterinarians, and producers apply professional judgment in making specific decisions regarding animal care and use. Because the Guide is written in general terms, IACUCs have a key role in interpretation, implementation, oversight, and evaluation of institutional animal care and use programs.


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