Office of Labratory Animal Welfare (OLAW)
Office for Laboratory Animal Welfare (OLAW) administers the Public Health Service Policy on Humane Care and Use of Laboratory Animals (PHS Policy) on behalf of the Department
of Health and Human Services. OLAW is responsible for reviewing and approving institutional
assurances, advising research facilities about compliance, evaluating allegations
of noncompliance with the Policy and conducting site visits as needed.
OLAW provides guidance and interpretation of the
Policy, supports educational programs, and monitors compliance with the
Policy by Assured institutions and PHS funding components to ensure the humane care
and use of animals in PHS-supported research, testing, and training, thereby contributing
to the quality of PHS-supported activities.
The Public Health Service (PHS) Policy on the Humane Care and Use of Laboratory
Animals (Policy) implements Congress’ 1985 legislative mandate
and supplements the U.S. Government Principles. It applies to
all DHHS-conducted or supported research, research training, and biological testing
activities involving the use of all vertebrate animals, including rats and mice.
Compliance with the Policy is required for activities conducted by DHHS
units and by awardee institutions as a condition of receiving DHHS funds.
DHHS grants or contracts can be suspended or revoked for noncompliance.
A major provision of the Policy is the filing and annual updating of an
Animal Welfare Assurance. The assurance document must fully describe the institution's
animal care and use program. That program must comply with the Animal Welfare Act
and other applicable federal laws and must adhere to the Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals (Guide). Like the AWA, the Policy requires each institution to
establish an IACUC with at least one outside member representing the public. As
described in the Policy, the duties and responsibilities of the IACUC are
comparable to AWA requirements. Also, each application for a DHHS award includes
the number and species of animals to be used, rationale for the use of animals,
the veterinary care of the animals, description of the proposed use, procedures
to minimize pain and discomfort and method of euthanasia.