Policy of Utilization of Animals

Faculty Document #93-8
College of Veterinary Medicine
Student Handbook

The College of Veterinary Medicine cannot fulfill its teaching, research, and service missions without the utilization of animals. The instructional programs require that preventive medicine, curative medicine, and surgery each be practiced in a sequence involving, first, animals owned and maintained by the School and, second, animals owned by the general populace who seek professional health service. The basic and applied animal health and disease-related research and testing must ultimately be conducted in the appropriate animal models to obtain definitive results. The use of any vertebrate animal, living or dead, for teaching, research, testing, or exhibition must have prior approval of the Purdue Animal Care and Use Committee.


Animals must be legally acquired and properly housed, fed, cleaned, and cared for to insure their comfort and well-being. The requirements as stated in local, state, and federal laws and regulations and current NIH guidelines on animal use and care constitute the minimum basis of care for animals for which we are responsible. Animals utilized in our programs are to be treated with respect and compassion. Before experiments or teaching exercises utilizing animals are undertaken, both ethical and economic costs of the activity will be weighed against the possible benefits that may be derived. All procedures utilizing animals should be designed with careful consideration of species of animal and minimum numbers necessary to ensure statistically valid results of relevance to animal or human health. Efforts shall be made to prevent redundancy and to develop the use of alternative methods which can replace the use of animals in teaching and research. The CVM Animal Care and Use Committee will monitor these practices.


Sedatives, analgesics, or anesthetics shall be used to suppress more than momentary pain or distress. Experiments and procedures in which analgesics and/or anesthetics will significantly alter the scientific results will be carried out using the least number of animals that is scientifically valid. Muscle relaxants which do not alter pain sensation will not be used for painful or surgical procedures unless accompanied by appropriate analgesics and/or anesthetics. Animals shall be killed using approved methods of euthanasia as recommended by the American Veterinary Medical Association. Assurance that application of an approved method of euthanasia has resulted in humane deaths is the responsibility of the faculty member.


Because of the responsibilities for animals that we assume, the College of Veterinary Medicine must serve as a role model in the treatment of animals for students, the scientific community, and society in general. We pledge to teach and to practice the tenets of humane treatment and the conservation of animal resources, and to demonstrate compassion and concern for all animals in our care.

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