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ASU animal care and use program

Arizona State University (ASU) is committed to the ethical and humane treatment of animals in advancing research that benefits humans, animals and the environment. ASU’s Animal Care and Use Program provides animal housing, husbandry and veterinary care; trains researchers on safe and ethical procedures; and ensures compliance with federal, state and university regulations.

The program has several components:

  • Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) -  oversees a compliant and humane animal care and use program that supports the research and teaching programs of our researchers, instructors, and students.
  • Department of Animal Care and Technologies (DACT) - provides exemplary care to all animals housed on campus and technical support to all investigators and instructors who use animals to advance education and knowledge.
  • Animal Users Advisory Committee (AUAC) -  provides a conduit for communication between researches and the animal care and use program as well as advises the program to ensure that it effectively addresses the needs of the researchers.

The ASU Animal care and use program has an assurance on file with OLAW, is registered with USDA APHIS, and is accredited by AAALAC International:

Organization Document Number Expiration Date

Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare (OLAW)




United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)




AAALAC International





ASU’s position on the importance of animal study in research

ASU conducts research of vital interest to society and the health and welfare of individuals. Some of that research is devoted to advancing health care and finding cures for diseases such as cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, Ebola and heart disease. Animal research has played a major role in virtually every major medical advance in the last century and remains integral to biomedical progress. A study by the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) concluded that animal research has helped increase the life expectancy of humans by 20.8 years. Animal research is also critical for advances in veterinary medicine and wildlife conservation, both of which depend on improvements in our understanding of animal behavior, ecology, physiology, pathology, nutrition and stress responses. Millions of people and a similar number of animals would suffer or die unnecessarily if animal research were to cease.

A majority of Americans support the need for animal research aimed at medical advances. It is not possible to eliminate animal research altogether and still produce new or improved treatments for disease, including those for cancer, AIDS and other diseases that the public at large has established as priorities.

Similarly, the use of animals in research has been paramount to understanding animals in nature, and thus enhancing efforts to conserve the planet and the species with which we share it. Man’s influences on the planet cannot be eliminated, but, through a better understanding of the world around us derived in part from studies involving animal subjects, these impacts can be modified to minimize the negative effects. 

Classroom animal use

ASU recognizes students' rights of conscience that may pertain to animal dissection or vivisection. By the IACUC's review and approval of animal protocols for teaching, ASU also recognizes the right of instructors to use animals in the laboratory for whatever purposes they deem appropriate to the course's instructional goals.

It is prudent to ascertain in any class that requires animal use as part of the laboratory whether any student has a personal and strong objection to carrying out the required assignments. To this end, the University Animal Care and Use Committee, with the concurrence of the vice provost, recommends that all instructors take appropriate steps to ensure that students are able to exercise their conscience with respect to using or not using animals in this educational experience.

We recommend that:

  1. the instructor make explicit that the course involves animal use and the nature of that use
  2. if deemed appropriate by the instructor, the veterinarian may be invited to address the class on aspects of animal use
  3. the instructor clearly state why any possible use of alternatives to animal use provides a less effective education experience or why alternatives are not possible
  4. this discussion occurs during the period of unrestricted withdrawals from classes

We also request that instructors provide information to students regarding the role and function of the IACUC in educational animal care and use. The IACUC oversees and evaluates the animal care and use program at ASU to ensure that it is managed in compliance with other university, sponsor, ABOR, federal, state, local laws and regulations, such as the federal Animal Welfare Regulations, or AWRs (CFR 1985), and Public Health Service Policy on Humane Care and Use of Laboratory Animals, or PHS Policy (PHS 1996).

Complaints or concerns about animal care at ASU can be reported to the IACUC by mail, phone (1-480-965-6788), or email, or reported to the ASU Hotline for Ethics and Compliance (1-877-786-3385). Complaints can be made anonymously. All complaints will be kept confidential to the extent possible, and with full protection from reprisal.