Policies and Laws

Learn about the policies, regulations, and guidance that protect animals used in research, training, and testing. The Public Health Service Policy on Humane Care and Use of Laboratory Animals (PHS Policy) applies to activities supported by any PHS agency. The PHS Policy incorporates the U.S. Government Principles, the Guide, and the AVMA Guidelines.

PHS Policy

The Guide

AVMA Guidelines
Health Research Extension Act of 1985

Public Law 99-158, November 20, 1985, "Animals in Research"
The Health Research Extension Act (HREA) of 1985 provides the legislative mandate for the PHS Policy.

Read the HREA of 1985
U.S. Government Principles

The development of knowledge necessary for the improvement of the health and well-being of humans as well as other animals requires in vivo experimentation with a wide variety of animal species. Whenever U.S. Government agencies develop requirements for testing, research, or training procedures involving the use of vertebrate animals, the following principles shall be considered.

Learn About the U.S. Government Principles
International Guiding Principles

The International Guiding Principles for Biomedical Research Involving Animals has been the framework for the development of laws, policies, and guidelines for over 25 years. The Guiding Principles were revised in 2012 to reflect that the scope of animal research has expanded significantly, numerous technological advancements have occurred, and societal attention to the welfare of research animals has increased.

Download the Guiding Principles
This page last updated on: Aug 31, 2023
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