International Standards

International Standards and Guidelines Relating to Research Animals

Internationally, there are two globally-accepted guidelines that address the use of animals in research and the role of the oversight body (animal care and use committee). 


First, the OIE (World Organization for Animal Heath) has a Terrestrial Animal Code, with section 7.8 specifically addressing research animals. The code is available on line at this link:

At the OIE site one may also learn whether one’s country is an OIE member.


Second, the Council of International Organizations of Medical Sciences (CIOMS) and ICLAS developed the International Guiding Principles for Biomedical Research Involving Animals, most recently revised in 2012. One may download a copy of these principles from the ICLAS web page here:


In addition to these global principles, there are a number of widely accepted guidelines which provide models for best practices to incorporate.  These include:

European Convention for the Protection of Vertebrate Animals Used for Experimental and Other Scientific Purposes, Council of Europe (ETS 123)


Another set of guidelines may be found here:

The Federation of Animal Science Societies (FASS) Guide for the Care and Use of Agricultural Animals in Research and Teaching


and the USA Institute for Laboratory Animal Research (ILAR) Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals, from 2011, eighth edition.


These last three items are the basis for evaluation and accreditation of animal care and use programs performed by AAALAC, International.


Information on legislation and guidelines adopted in individual nations is summarized in this book, which may be ordered on line:

Laboratory Animals: Regulations and Recommendations for the Care and Use of Animals in Research, 2nd Edition, 2017 by Javier Guillen. Elsevier; ISBN-13: 978-0128498804

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