Statement of Task
The use of laboratory animals for biomedical research, testing and education is guided by the principles of the Three Rs, replacement of animals where acceptable non-animal models exist, reduction in the number of animals to the fewest needed to obtain statistically significant data, and refinement of animal care and use to minimize pain and distress and to enhance animal well-being. The Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals has been a critical international publication that provides information to scientists, veterinarians and animal care personnel when the decision has been made that animal use is necessary. A committee will update the 1996 version of the Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals (the Guide) to reflect new scientific information related to the issues already covered in the Guide, and to add discussion and guidance on new topics of laboratory animal care and use related to contemporary animal research programs.
The committee will review the scientific literature published since the release of the 1996 Guide and determine whether the information in the Guide concurs with current scientific evidence. The committee will also review the literature on new technologies related to laboratory animal care and use and determine where new guidance is necessary to ensure the best scientific outcomes and optimal animal welfare. The committee will also take into consideration all materials and discussions provided to it, including those submitted to NIH in response to the Request for Information NOT-OD-O6-011 that requested information related to the need to update the Guide. Where scientifically warranted, the guidance and recommendations of the 1996 Guide will be changed to reflect new scientific
evidence, while maintaining the performance standards of the 1996 Guide. The committee will ensure that any recommendations in the Guide will be consistent with current Public Health Service Policy, the Animal Welfare Regulations, and the most recent Report of the American Veterinary Medical Association Panel on Euthanasia.
In addition to the published report, the updated Guide will be posted on the Internet in a pdf or equivalent format such that users will be able to search the entire document at one time.