Richard S. Denniston | 10/29/2005 2:00:36 AM
The LSU AgCenter’s Reproductive Biology Center recently received full accreditation from the Association for the Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care (AAALAC International).
The accreditation certifies this LSU AgCenter research unit, which includes its Embryo Biotechnology Laboratory, is providing the highest quality care of the animals used in its research program and is accountable in maintaining a standard of excellence, said Richard Denniston, coordinator of the unit.
"The accreditation encompasses everything from veterinary care to providing a break room for animal caretakers," Denniston said. "It’s a very comprehensive program."
Denniston said the Reproductive Biology Center develops and uses assisted reproductive technologies, such as embryo transfer, in vitro fertilization and cloning, to improve or increase reproductive efficiency of valuable animals.
"This includes most species of livestock, which may be used in agricultural or biomedical research, as well as some exotic or endangered species," he said. AAALAC International is an organization that promotes the humane treatment of animals in science through voluntary accreditation and evaluation programs. More than 670 companies, universities, hospitals, government agencies and other research institutions have earned accreditation.
"AAALAC accreditation demonstrates that the Reproductive Biology Center has moved to a higher level – with outside validation of the quality of the research conducted in the unit," said Dr. David Boethel, LSU AgCenter vice chancellor for research.
"It should enhance our opportunities for grant funding and collaborations with other institutions and agencies, including the private sector," he said.
Boethel said accreditation provides the public with a positive image and confirms the unit’s programs meet or exceed high standards for animal care in a research setting.
"This on-going process ensures the unit will be subject to rigorous external review, which sends a message to the scientific community, the public and granting agencies that the Reproductive Biology Center is among the premier research laboratories in the field of animal reproductive physiology," Boethel said.
Denniston also said the accreditation is an important component of the unit’s teaching program.
"It provides training for students in working in a regulated environment," he said.
AAALAC endorses the use of animals to advance medicine and science when
there are no other alternatives and ensures the research is conducted in an ethical and humane way. When animals are used, the organization works with institutions and researchers to serve as a bridge between progress and animal well-being.