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The Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals (the Guide) was first published in 1963 under the title Guide for Laboratory Animal Facilities and Care and was revised in 1965, 1968, 1972, 1978, and 1985. More than 400,000 copies have been distributed since it was first published, and it is widely accepted as a primary reference on animal care and use. The changes and new material in this seventh edition are in keeping with the belief that the Guide is subject to modification with changing conditions and new information.
The purpose of the Guide, as expressed in the charge to the Committee to Revise the Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals, is to assist institutions in caring for and using animals in ways judged to be scientifically, technically, and humanely appropriate. The Guide is also intended to assist investigators in fulfilling their obligation to plan and conduct animal experiments in accord with the highest scientific, humane, and ethical principles. The recommendations are based on published data, scientific principles, expert opinion, and experience with methods and practices that have proved to be consistent with high-quality, humane animal care and use.
Previous editions of the Guide were supported solely by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and published by the Government Printing Office. As an indication of its wide use, this edition was financially supported by NIH, the Department of Agriculture, and the Department of Veterans Affairs and was published by the National Academy Press.
The Guide is organized into four chapters on the major components of an animal care and use program: institutional policies and responsibilities; animal environment, housing, and management; veterinary medical care; and physical