The University has a legal and ethical responsibility to ensure that research animals are used only when necessary and are spared unnecessary pain and distress. All personnel are required to adhere to applicable federal, state, local and institutional laws and policies governing animal research, including the Animal Welfare Act and Regulations (AWA); the Public Health Service Policy on Humane Care and Use of Laboratory Animals; the Principles for the Utilization and Care of Vertebrate Animals Used in Testing, Research and Training; and the Health Research Extension Act of 1985. In addition, Princeton University maintains institutional policies aimed at protecting research animals.
The University’s Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) provides supervision, coordination, and review of every project proposed to include the use of vertebrate animals. This Committee includes scientists, non-scientists and members of the public to ensure representation of diverse viewpoints. IACUC has the responsibility to approve, to require modification of proposed activity involving animals, and the authority to prohibit a project’s use of vertebrate animals.
IACUC maintains established procedures, similar to those used to monitor human subject research, for reviewing and monitoring animal research and education projects conducted under University auspices. Princeton University maintains a veterinary staff specializing in laboratory animal medicine that carefully scrutinizes project proposals to ensure that all laws and University guidelines are followed and that animals receive professional veterinary medical care. RIA and the veterinary staff monitor the facilities, treatment procedures and routine care of animals to ensure animal welfare.