Animal Units Receive AAALAC Accreditation

The animal units of the Department of Animal Sciences in the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES), Ohio State ATI, and the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center (OARDC) have received full three-year accreditation from the Association for Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care (AAALAC) International.

AAALAC International is a private, nonprofit organization that promotes the humane care and use of animals in science by voluntary assessment, including an on-site inspection of research programs. AAALAC accreditation identifies Ohio State as a top research institution that puts care and use of animals in its research and teaching as a top priority.

Earlier this year, the animal units went through this extensive, voluntary, accreditation process that began with an internal review. During this review, Valerie Bergdall, director of OSU laboratory animal resources, Justin Kieffer, clinical veterinarian, and Julie Morris, director of farm operations, led a team of animal unit managers and employees to create a “Program Description” which describes all aspects of the Department’s animal care and use. After reviewing the Program Description, AAALAC evaluators conducted an extensive on-site assessment of policies, animal housing and management, veterinary care, and facilities.

In its report, AAALAC commended Ohio State, “Especially noteworthy were the strong administrative commitment to the program, evidenced in part by the involvement of the Institutional Official in the animal care and use program, the efforts to see campus-wide AAALAC International accreditation and the investment in new and updated facilities.” 

Department of Animal Sciences Chair, John Foltz, stated “I think accreditation is a testament to our people and facilities; we received this accreditation without any ‘findings’ that would have indicated we needed to change or improve our practices.  We take animal welfare seriously and work to continue to educate not only our employees, but our students about the importance of animal care.”

By earning voluntary AAALAC accreditation, Ohio State joins more than 1,000 companies, universities, hospitals, government agencies and other research institutions in 49 countries in demonstrating a commitment to responsible animal care and use. Other institutions that have earned AAALAC accreditation include the Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, The American Red Cross, and the National Institutes of Health.

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