BU Statement on Animal Research

Boston University is a major academic research institution conducting high-quality research as part of its mission of advancing human health. Animal research has been, and continues to be, a critical component of the efforts in advancing our understanding of cancer, heart disease and neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s to name a few.

We recognize and embrace the fundamental interdependence of humans and animals and are committed to the core value of humane care in the use of any animals.  The institutional committee that oversees the use of animals at Boston University is vigilant in meeting their commitment to animal welfare.  The Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) reviews every proposed research protocol to ensure that:

  • animal use is justified.
  • no alternative to the use of animals exist.
  • The investigators adhere to the 3 R’s:
    • The replacement of animals with material such as tissues and cells;
    • The reduction of the number of animals necessary to obtain information or to thoroughly train future physicians and scientists, and
    • Ways in which to refine studies to maximize the comfort and welfare of animals.
    • Quality, humane care is provided to the animals.

Since 1986, Boston University has had an Assurance Statement on file with the US Public Health Service National Institutes of Health describing our commitment to animal welfare and the program to ensure that we have processes and procedures in place to prevent unnecessary pain and suffering in animals.

Boston University Medical Campus School of Medicine has also been accredited by the Association for Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care International (AAALAC) since 1971, a further demonstration of our strong commitment to animal welfare. 

Animal research is highly regulated and the animal care program at Boston University is managed in full compliance with the

  • US Animal Welfare Act,
  • USDA Animal Welfare Regulations,
  • US Public Health Service Policy on Humane Care and Use of Laboratory Animals, and
  • Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals.

Beyond what laws and regulations dictate, we recognize that laboratory animals are living creatures that deserve to be treated with care and compassion. We are committed to ensuring the well-being of our animals and to maximizing their comfort and welfare.