AAALAC International is a private, nonprofit organization that promotes the humane treatment of animals in science through voluntary accreditation and assessment programs. AAALAC stands for the “Association for Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care.” The organization provides advice and independent assessments to participating institutions and accredits those that meet or exceed applicable standards. Achievement of AAALAC accreditation enhances the quality of research, teaching, and testing by promoting humane, responsible animal care and use.
More than 750 companies, universities, hospitals, government agencies and other research institutions in 29 countries have earned AAALAC accreditation, demonstrating their commitment to responsible animal care and use. These institutions volunteer to participate in AAALAC’s program, in addition to complying with the local, state and federal laws that regulate animal research. Participating institutions receive an independent, unbiased expert assessment, and those that meet or exceed applicable standards are awarded accreditation
The program started in 1965, when leading veterinarians and researchers recognized the need to assure the public that laboratory animal research was being conducted in a responsible manner. Today, more than 60 leading academic and professional societies are member of AAALAS and their representatives serve on its Board of Trustees. In 1996, AAALAC changed its name to the Association for Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care International (AAALAC International). The name change reflects the organization’s growth in other countries, and its commitment to enhancing life sciences and quality animal care around the world.
AAALAC adopted the 1963 Guide for Laboratory Animal Facilities and Care(published by the U.S. Public Health Service) as the basis for evaluated programs. Currently, the Guide is in its seventh edition and is still used as AAALAC’s primary resource for evaluating programs. For more information on the accreditation process, program requirements and additional resource documents please visit www.aaalac.org.