Full Accreditation for NAU Animal Care and Use

By Tom M. Greene, B.S. RLATG
NAU Animal Care Manager/IACUC Coordinator

The Northern Arizona University (NAU) animal care and use program has been fully accredited by the Association for Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care (AAALAC) International. AAALAC International is a private, nonprofit organization that promotes the humane treatment of animals in science through voluntary accreditation and assessment programs. This accreditation means that NAU meets the standards of the Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare (OLAW) as a Category 1 Research Facility dedicated to good science. Put another way, it means that NAU researchers care deeply about the welfare of animals that are part of their research efforts.

Tomato Frog

Dyscophus guineti aka Tomato Frog from a past NAU research project.

The NAU animal research program achieved accreditation after a rigorous preparation period, which included drafting a comprehensive program description and the subsequent review, and acceptance of that document by AAALAC evaluators as well as numerous, detailed facility and programmatic improvements. These preparations were followed by a thorough, confidential, peer review by a council of experts in the field of laboratory animal science.

The results of this review and subsequent accreditation assure the scientific community, funding agencies, and the community at large that NAU has a commitment to quality science and promotes the highest standards of humane and responsible animal research. The standards followed by NAU's animal program have exceeded, and will continue to go beyond, the regulations required by law. 

With this newly acquired achievement, NAU now has the distinction of being part of a worldwide group of institutions that hold this highly recognizable designation. Only approximately 850 companies, universities, hospitals, government agencies, and other research institutions in 36 countries have earned AAALAC accreditation. AAALAC accreditation is considered the "gold standard" for animal research programs. As NAU moves forward with its mission to build research, AAALAC accreditation will help increase potential for funding and draw high-quality research to NAU while maintaining the highest level of animal welfare.

© 2013 Arizona Board of Regents.
Northern Arizona University, South San Francisco Street, Flagstaff, Arizona 86011