AAALAC International is a private, nonprofit organization that promotes the humane treatment of animals in science through voluntary accreditation and assessment programs.

  • In the 1950’s, the Professional Standards Committee of the Animal Care Panel (ACP), now the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS), recognized a need for assuring the general public that laboratory animal research was conducted on a professional level, and that standard procedures were applied. This concept represents the beginning of the effort to form an accreditation program for laboratory animal care and use.
  • Leading veterinarians and researchers organized the American Association for Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care (AAALAC) in 1965, as a private, nonprofit organization. In the years that followed, AAALAC accredited hundreds of organizations across the United States, raising the benchmark for laboratory animal care to new heights.
  • In 1996, AAALAC changed its name to the Association for Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care International (AAALAC International). The name change reflected the organization’s recognition and expansion in other countries, and its commitment to enhancing life sciences and quality animal care around the world.
  • Currently more than 1,100 organizations in 50 countries/regions have earned AAALAC accreditation, demonstrating their commitment to responsible animal care and use.

Program Structure

AAALAC's 72-Member Organizations are a select group of prestigious scientific, professional and educational groups with an interest in advancing animal well-being in science and education. Each Member Organization appoints a representative to serve as an AAALAC International Member Organization Delegate

Some of these “Member Organizations” include:
  • American Diabetes Association
  • American Heart Association
  • American Veterinary Medical Association
  • European Society of Laboratory Animal Veterinarians
  • Academy of Surgical Research
  • The National Association for Biomedical Research
  • The Society of Toxicology
  • Many More
AAALAC site visitors conduct on-site visits and extensive evaluations. AAALAC International relies on three primary standards used by the Council to evaluate programs:
  1. The Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals (the Guide, NRC 2011);
  2. The Guide for the Care and Use of Agricultural Animals in Research and Teaching (the Ag Guide, FASS 2010); and
  3. The European Convention for the Protection of Vertebrate Animals Used for Experimental and Other Scientific Purposes, Council of Europe (ETS 123).

UTSA & AAALAC Accreditation | Date of Initial Accreditation: October 26, 2010

Why Accreditation?

Institutions choose to participate in the AAALAC accreditation program for a variety of reasons.

It represents quality.  

Organizations and companies look for ways to communicate their commitment to excellence. In the scientific community, AAALAC International accreditation shows that an institution is serious about setting, achieving and maintaining high standards for animal care and use and committed to animal welfare in science. AAALAC International offers the only international accreditation for animal care and use programs involved in biomedical research, and it has become recognized around the world as a sign of quality and good science.

It promotes scientific validity.  
It provides assurance in a global marketplace.  
It’s a recruiting tool.  
It demonstrates accountability.  
It provides a confidential peer-review.  
It stimulates continuous improvement.