The animal care and use program at UNLV has been granted continued full accreditation by the Association for Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care International, an independent, nonprofit organization.
UNLV has participated in this voluntary international accreditation program since Nov. 29, 1993.
"Achieving and maintaining accreditation is a significant accomplishment, and one in which staff takes pride. We applaud the staff for their commitment to abiding by the essential elements of animal care and use," said Kathryn Bayne, associate director of the association.
The accreditation process is based on an extensive self-evaluation followed by a rigorous external peer review by veterinarians and researchers experienced in laboratory animal management. An animal program encompasses all aspects of support for animal care and use, including prior review of proposed activities involving animals, animal husbandry and nutrition, and qualifications of personnel working with the animals. AAALAC International accreditation covers all animals used for research, education, and testing at UNLV and in any university-sponsored programs off campus.
Richard Simmonds, director of laboratory animal medicine for the University and Community College System of Nevada and attending veterinarian for UNLV, said, "AAALAC International accreditation is a positive indication of UNLV's commitment to excellence in the responsible care and use of animals in university programs. Adherence to the standards necessary to be granted accreditation means that we are maximizing animal welfare while, at the same time, maximizing the quality of the research and education programs using the animals."
Accreditation also assures granting agencies and the public that the animal care and use program at UNLV provides a sound, ethical approach to the use of animals. Attainment of accreditation attests to the fact that the program has considered and implemented the essential elements of animal care and use.
AAALAC International accredits more than 600 animal programs worldwide. These include programs at academic institutions and at commercial, government, and nonprofit organizations.
For additional information, call Simmonds at (702) 784-4874.