The University of Iowa

University of Iowa Principles for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals

 (Adapted from the U.S. Government Principles for the Utilization and Care of Vertebrate Animals Used in Testing, Research, and Training.)


I. The transportation, care and use of animals must be in accordance with the Animal Welfare Act and other applicable federal and state laws, guidelines, and policies.

II. Procedures involving animals should be designed and performed with due consideration of their relevance to human or animal health, the advancement of knowledge, or the good of society.

III. The animals selected for a procedure should be of an appropriate species and quality and the minimum number required to obtain valid results.  Alternative methods such as mathematical models, computer simulation, and in vitro biological systems must be considered.

IV. Proper use of animals, including the avoidance or minimization of discomfort, distress, and pain when consistent with sound scientific practices, is imperative.  Unless the contrary is established, investigators must consider that procedures that cause pain or distress in human beings may cause pain or distress in other animals.

V. Procedures with animals that may cause more than momentary or slight pain or distress should be performed with appropriate sedation, analgesia, or anesthesia.  Surgical or other painful procedures must not be performed on un-anesthetized animals paralyzed by chemical agents.

VI. Animals that would otherwise suffer severe or chronic pain or distress that cannot be relieved must be painlessly euthanized at the end of the procedure or, if appropriate, during the procedure.  UI veterinarians have the authority to euthanize animals whose welfare is seriously threatened.  The action will follow contact or several efforts to contact the responsible investigators.

VII. The living conditions of the animals should be appropriate for their species and contribute to their health and comfort.  Normally the housing, feeding, and care of all animals used for biomedical purposes must be directed by a veterinarian or other scientist trained and experienced in the proper care, handling, and use of the species being maintained or studied.  In any case, veterinary care shall be provided.

VIII. Investigators and other personnel shall be appropriately qualified and experienced for conducting procedures on living animals.  Adequate arrangements shall be made for their in service training, including the proper and humane care and use of laboratory animals.

IX. Where exceptions are required in relation to the provisions of these Principles, the decisions should not rest with the investigators directly concerned but should be made, with due regard to Principle II, by an appropriate group such as an institutional animal research committee.  Such exception should not be made solely for the purpose of teaching or demonstration.