Overview of Federal Regulations, Laws, Guidelines, and Standards

  • The Animal Welfare Act is a law passed by the U.S. Congress and it contains provisions to prevent the sale or use of animals that have been stolen; to prohibit animal-fighting ventures; and to ensure that animals used in research, for exhibition, or as pets receive humane care and treatment.

Animal Welfare Act

  • The Animal Welfare Act directs the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) to administer and enforce Animal Welfare Regulations.

USDA Animal Welfare Regulations

  • The Animal Care policy manual further clarifies the intent of the Animal Welfare Act, and includes the USDA’s interpretative rules on several issues including veterinary care, survival surgery, and searches for alternatives to animals.

USDA Animal Care Policy Manual

  • The PHS Policy enforces the Health Research Extension Act, which is a federal law passed in 1985. This law established guidelines for the proper care and treatment of animals to be used in biomedical and behavioral research.

Public Health Service Policy on Humane Care and Use of Laboratory Animals

  • The “Guide” is designed to assist institutions in caring for and using animals in ways judged to be scientifically, technically, and humanely appropriate.

Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals

  • The Guidelines for the Use of Fishes in Research was written by the American Fisheries Society to guide researchers in the proper care and treatment of fish.

Guidelines For the Use of Fishes in Research

  • The Guidelines for the Use of Live Amphibians and Reptiles was written by the American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists to guide researchers in the proper care and treatment of amphibians and reptiles.

Guidelines for Use of Live Amphibians and Reptiles in Field and Laboratory Research

  • The Guidelines for the Capture, Handling, and Care of Mammals was written by the American Society of Mammalogists to guide field researchers in mammalogy.

Guidelines for the Use of Mammals in Research

  • The Guidelines to the Use of Wild Birds in Research was written by The Ornithological Council to provide avian-specific information to guide researchers in the proper care and treatment of birds.

Guidelines to the Use of Wild Birds in Research

  • The AVMA Guidelines on Euthanasia, written by the American Veterinary Medical Association, guides researchers and veterinarians on the humane methods of euthanasia for research animals.

AVMA Guidelines on Euthanasia

  • The Occupational Health and Safety guidelines, written by the National Research Council, provides information to guide researchers in the proper methods to reduce occupational risk and exposure, in the use of resesarch animals.

Occupational Health and Safety in the Care and Use of Research Animals