Who We Are
The UW is a leader among public institutions receiving federal research funding and maintains a fully accredited Animal Care and Use Program. The Office of Animal Welfare (OAW) is the key administrative unit responsible for implementing federal and non-federal requirements for use of vertebrate animals in research and teaching. Based at the UW Seattle main campus, the Office of Animal Welfare supports the University’s primary research objectives by promoting and advancing responsible and ethical use of animals through the provision of informed, well-trained, and regulatory-compliant research personnel and programs.
What We Do:
The University is required to have an Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) to conduct evaluations and review and approve protocols to use live vertebrate animals in research and teaching. This committee oversees and evaluates all aspects of the institution’s Animal Care and Use Program. The Office of Animal Welfare facilitates the IACUC review of protocols and IACUC inspection of housing and use facilities for the animals. In addition, the OAW provides oversight and compliance on behalf of the IACUC in accordance with applicable laws, policies and regulations.
The Office of Animal Welfare supports the IACUC in overseeing
- over 560 protocols involving approximately 842,000 live vertebrate animals representing over 45 species
- central and remote facilities in 22 locations with over 1000 approved animal care and use rooms and field sites
- nearly 400 Principal Investigators from over 50 academic departments and research institutes.
With an operating budget of over $1.5 million, the dynamic and evolving OAW responsibilities emphasize five primary service areas: IACUC Administrative Support; Animal Use Protocol Review and Revision; Protocol and Grant Concurrence; Post-Approval Monitoring; and Animal Use Training.
Who We Work With:
The UW Office of Animal Welfare works with all University educators, researchers and staff who use live vertebrate animals in their research and teaching programs. Key departmental partners include the Office of Research, Department of Comparative Medicine, the Washington National Primate Research Center, Environmental Health and Safety, and the Office of Sponsored Programs. In addition, OAW works with numerous public and private facilities to coordinate joint research with the UW. OAW also spearheads the University’s interactions with regulatory agencies and industry associations to ensure continuing assurance and accreditation of the UW Animal Care and Use Program.
NIH – Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare (OLAW): The mission of the Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare is to provide guidance and interpretation of the Public Health Service (PHS) Policy on Humane Care and Use of Laboratory Animals, support educational programs, and monitor compliance with the Policy by Assured institutions and PHS funding components, ensuring the humane care and use of animals in research, testing, and training.
USDA – Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS): For more than 40 years, Congress has entrusted the US Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) with the stewardship of animals covered under the Animal Welfare and Horse Protection Acts. APHIS provides leadership for determining standards of humane care and treatment of animals. APHIS implements those standards and achieves compliance through inspection, education, cooperative efforts, and enforcement.
Association for Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care International (AAALAC): The University of Washington is accredited by AAALAC, recognizing that our program not only meets the standards required by law but that we have taken the additional steps to achieve excellence in animal care and use. AAALAC International is a private, nonprofit organization, promoting the humane treatment of animals to advance medicine and science when there are no non-animal alternatives. The AAALAC accreditation process is voluntary, and demonstrates the University of Washington’s commitment to excellence in animal care and use.