Professional Guidelines

Professional standards are the formalization of generally accepted best practices in a given field.  Standards may be issued by scientific organizations, professional societies, or regulatory agencies.  The UAF IACUC relies on these standards, in addition to their own professional training and experience, when evaluating protocol applications from instructors and researchers. The following professional standards the ones typically applicable to UAF projects:

Field Research Guidelines

Guidelines for the Capture, Handling, and Care of Mammals (2016) as Approved by the American Society of Mammalogists (pdf file)

Guidelines for the Use of Wild Birds in Research (3rd edition, 2010) by the Ornithological Council

Guidelines for the Use of Fishes in Research (2014) by the American Fisheries Society (pdf file)

Guidelines for the Use of Live Amphibians and Reptiles in Field Research (2004) by the American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists (pdf file)

Euthanasia Guidelines

AVMA Guidelines on Euthanasia. These guidelines were issued by the American Veterinary Medical Association's (AVMA) Panel on Euthanasia. UAF researchers are expected to comply with the current AVMA guidelines or to justify the use of alternative practices in their IACUC protocol.

Guidelines for Euthanasia of Nondomestic Animals. These guidelines were published in 2006 by the American Association of Zoo Veterinarians (AAZV). A hard copy is available in the Office of Research Integrity (212 West Ridge Research Building) or may be purchased for $75 on the AAZV website.

Care & Use Guidelines

Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals. Eight Edition. 2010. National Research Council. National Academies Press, Washington D.C.

Guide for the Care and Use of Agricultural Animals in Agricultural Research and Teaching (Ag Guide), Fourth Edition. 2020. (pdf file)

Guidelines for the Care and Use of Mammals in Neuroscience and Behavioural Research. 2003. National Research Council. National Academies Press, Washington D.C. (ISBN 0-309-08903-4).  A hard copy is available in the Office of Research Integrity (212 West Ridge Research Building).

Government Principles for the Utilization and Care of Vertebrate Animals Used in Testing, Research, and Training. U.S. Interagency Research Animal Committee.

K-12 Educational Guidelines

Responsible Use of Live Animals and Dissection in the Science Classroom (position statement). Issued by the National Science Teachers Association in June 2005 (revised March 2008).

Federal Regulations & Guidelines

United States

Public Health Service Policy on Humane Care and Use of Laboratory Animals. 1986. Revised 2015. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Washington D.C. (Available from: Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD).

Animal Welfare Act and Regulations

Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare (OLAW). This is the federal agency responsible for oversight of animal research and compliance with Public Health Service policy on the care and use of laboratory animals. The UAF federal wide assurance, which serves as our IACUC procedures, is filed with OLAW.

Department of Agriculture (USDA), Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), Animal Care Program. Animal Care provides leadership in establishing acceptable standards of humane animal care and treatment and to monitor and achieve compliance with the Animal Welfare Act through inspections, education, and cooperative efforts.

Requirements for Prompt Reporting (Notice # NOT-OD-05-034, Issued 2/24/05, updated 2010 and 2013). Provides guidance on the types of incidents and activities involving research animals which MUST be reported to OLAW. 


(These are useful references, but please remember that U.S. guidelines and regulations may be slightly different and must take precedence for all work conducted in the U.S.)

Canadian Council on Animal Care (CCAC) Publications

Guide to the Care and Use of Experimental Animals

Field Research in northern communities

The Arctic Research Consortium of the U.S. has recently launched a web site of resources on conducting research in the Arctic. ARCUS website. These resources, recommendations, and best practices come from a variety of sources and cover a wide variety of topics, and aim to help researchers build good communication and cooperation with northern communities.

Other Useful Links

FishBase - This is a searchable web database that provides easy access to a wide range of data on both freshwater and pelagic fishes.

Animal Welfare Information Center - This is a USDA website that provides information on the animal welfare act and regulations, humane endpoints and euthanasia, alternatives to animal use, as well as pain and distress.  The AWIC site also links to a variety of searchable databases that are useful when conducting your 3R's literature searches.

BirdNet - This website presented by the Ornithological Council provides links to a wide range of bird related journals, resources, websites, organizations and listservs that may be of interest to researchers and students.

Guidelines for the treatment of animals in behavioural research and teaching (PDF). Issued by Elsevier and incorporated by reference into the Animal Behaviour Guide for Authors. Animal Behaviour, 2006, 71(1), 245-253.

Data retention:  This is a good discussion of data retention issues.

Transportation Standards

The Animal Welfare Act and associated regulations set basic requirements and standards for the transport of animals. These documents are available via the USDA's Animal Welfare website.

The Live Animal Regulations (LAR) published by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) contain the industry standards for live animal caging and care. These regulations meet or exceed the standards set by the animal welfare act and have been adopted by most commercial air carriers.

Please also visit the Permits and Licensing page for more information on shipping live animals and biological samples.