INTERNATIONAL GROUP ACCREDITS OHIO STATE’S ANIMAL CARE PROGRAM
COLUMBUS – The international organization responsible for certifying institutions that use research animals has once again reviewed and approved of Ohio State University’s program.
The Council on Accreditation of the Association for Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care (AAALAC) reviewed the institution’s program late last fall and granted Ohio State deferred continued accreditation.
“The Council commends you and your staff for providing and maintaining a generally sound program of laboratory animal care and use,” Michael C. Ballinger, vice president of the AAALAC council, wrote in a letter to the university.
“Particularly noteworthy were the institutional commitment to the program, the high level of husbandry and sanitation, the very capable Institutional Laboratory Animal Care and Use Committee (ILACUC) Administrator, the sound veterinary care program, and the excellent staff training and crisis management programs.”
AAALAC’s evaluation of an institution’s animal care program can result in an institution receiving either a continued, deferred continued, or conditional ranking. In other cases, the institution can be notified it has been placed on probation or that AAALAC intends to revoke its accreditation.
Ohio State’s “deferred continued” status was based on a small number of issues the visiting accreditation team raised last fall. The university has already provided AAALAC with clarifying information concerning these issues and rectified any minor problems that were uncovered.
“We take very seriously our responsibility to be good stewards of the animals used in university research and to insure their health and well-being while in our care,” said Tom Rosol, senior associate vice president for research.
“Our diligence towards animal care is simply the ‘right’ thing to do,” Rosol said. “In addition, it has a positive effect on the research we have underway, much of which is devoted to human medicine, but which can ultimately benefit animals.”
William Yonushonis, director of laboratory animal resources on campus, said, “We have invested an enormous amount of time and resources in recent years into creating a model program for using research animals. The institution is committed to continually improving our program at every opportunity.”
Yonushonis said the university is constantly working to reduce the number of animals required to conduct its research projects and uses alternative approaches to animal use when and where they are feasible.
In 2002, Ohio State used 77,056 animals in ongoing research programs.
Approximately 93 percent of those were rats and mice.
• Primates were reduced from 185 to 21 – an 88 percent reduction;