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Stanford Report, April 15, 1998

Animal care program gets approval: 4/15/98

Animal care program gets seal of approval


Citing the knowledge and dedication of Stanford's animal care team, a national inspection team last month renewed full accreditation of the school's animal facility.

Notification of the action came in a March 6 letter from Dr. David P. Martin, president of the Association for Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care International (AAALAC International).

"Particularly noteworthy were the leadership, knowledge and dedication exhibited by the entire Stanford University team for providing animal care and oversight of the program, the well-maintained animal facilities and the overall support demonstrated by the Stanford University administration for the animal care and use program," Martin wrote.

The renewal was based on a two-day visit of the facility last November by three AAALAC inspectors, who conducted a detailed review of such issues as staffing, training, documentation, the role of the animal care committee and the condition of the facility itself, said Dr. Linda Cork, professor and chair of comparative medicine and director of the Veterinary Service Center. The reviewers also looked closely how the animals are cared for on a day-to-day basis, including the medical care and pain medication they receive, particularly following surgery, and the temperature, humidity, noise levels, sanitation and other conditions in which they are housed.

"It's an objective, external review process by people who are very knowledgeable ­ not just an in-house pat on the back," Cork said. "It's basically a good housekeeping seal of approval. We are very pleased."

"We put a high priority on ensuring humane treatment for the animals within our care," said Medical School Dean Dr. Eugene Bauer. "So it is gratifying to receive AAALAC's official sanction of our animal care program."

The animal facility will be reviewed again in three years. SR