On July 1, 2016, the University of Hawai‘i (UH) the John A. Burns School of Medicine and the UH Cancer Center achieved accreditation from the Association for Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care, International (AAALAC) for its program of care and use of animals used in the ABS-operated vivaria at Mānoa and Kaka‘ako. This prestigious achievement demonstrates to the public, our collaborators, and granting agencies that the Program meets or exceeds any and all governmental regulations which bear upon animal care and use. The UH joined more than 950 other research institutions in 40 countries that have earned AAALAC accreditation. AAALAC is a private, nonprofit organization that promotes the humane treatment of animals in science through voluntary accreditation and assessment programs. For more information on AAALAC visit http://aaalac.org/
AAALAC Accreditation helps assure that
Superior animal care will lead to better research practices and to more reliable and publishable data
A Few of the Benefits of Earning AAALAC International Accreditation
It represents quality
Organizations and companies look for ways to communicate their commitment to excellence. In the scientific community, AAALAC International accreditation shows that an institution is serious about setting, achieving and maintaining high standards for animal care and use and committed to animal welfare in science. AAALAC International offers the only international accreditation for animal care and use programs, and it has become recognized around the world as a sign of quality and good science.
It promotes scientific validity
When research involves animals, reliable scientific results depend on superior animal care. AAALAC International accreditation engages scientists, veterinarians, managers and administrators in an independent, rigorous assessment of their institution’s animal program—an assessment that ultimately results in improved animal welfare and better research practices and outcomes.
It provides assurance in a global marketplace
Today it’s common for research institutions to partner or contract with other research entities around the world. Because laws and regulations related to animal research vary widely from country to country, AAALAC International accreditation can be used worldwide as a way to gauge the quality of a particular program, harmonize animal care and use practices, and provide assurance to diverse stakeholders.
It’s a recruiting tool
AAALAC International accredited institutions can use their accreditation as a recruiting tool to attract the best and brightest researchers and professors. Talented professionals look for high quality programs to support their research. Accreditation assures potential employees that the institution is dedicated to achieving the highest standards for animal care and use.
It demonstrates accountability
In today’s world, companies and organizations are held to very high levels of accountability—by their own constituents and the general public. Although animal research is a controversial issue for some, most people support biomedical research if it’s conducted in a humane manner. Accreditation through AAALAC International is voluntary and demonstrates a willingness to go above and beyond the minimums required by law. It tells the public that the institution is committed to the responsible care and use of animals in science.
It provides a confidential peer-review
AAALAC accreditation requires an institution to first perform its own self-evaluation (an extremely valuable exercise for any institution to undertake). Next, a team of highly qualified AAALAC representatives provides an in-depth, confidential, on-site evaluation of the institution’s animal care and use program. This independent peer-review ensures that the institution’s program is meeting AAALAC International standards.
It stimulates continuous improvement
When an institution participates in the AAALAC accreditation program, it’s committing to a process that stimulates continuous improvement. Earning and maintaining accreditation keeps an institution aware of, and engaged in, current best practices. Accreditation is a true commitment to humane animal care and use and shows the world that an institution is serious about ensuring animal well-being and conducting good science.