Top Marks for Animal Care:CALS receives full AAALAC accreditation

On February 22, CALS learned that it has received full accreditation from the Council on Accreditation of the Association for Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care. This places our college among the top tier of agricultural and life science colleges with respect to standards of animal care. Only 14 agricultural colleges from among U.S. Land Grant universities are AAALAC accredited. This assures continued animal research credibility with funding sources and the general public, and is a sign of the high level of competence and performance of our research enterprise.

This is a landmark moment for our college as it joins the School of Medicine and Public Health, the Graduate School, and the School of Veterinary Medicine as the UW-Madison’s fourth AAALAC accredited school.

AAALAC based its notification on a highly successful site visit to our college’s animal research labs and facilities this past fall. In the notification letter, the Council commends UW-Madison and CALS for a high level of institutional commitment and administrative support to the animal care and use program, the knowledgeable and dedicated staff, well-managed facilities, a thorough and engaged Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC), the occupational health and safety program, and the effective agricultural animal veterinary program.

The accreditation is also noteworthy because of the high praise for our college’s animal care program from the site visit team. Gail Stirr and Dick Straub of the Research Division led this effort in CALS; however, a very large number of individuals on and off campus helped make this accreditation review a success. Those working in animal care in CALS know that preparations for AAALAC accreditation have been a longstanding objective of the college, and it is particularly satisfying to see that full accreditation, without conditions, was achieved on the very first try.

Congratulations to all of you who participated in this process, and thank you for your hard work and dedication on behalf of research excellence.

– Irwin Goldman and Molly Jahn