Oversight and Regulations

The UC Davis Center for Animal Alternatives, established by the California Legislature in 1991 and located at UC Davis, has helped to reduce the number of animals used in teaching and research. It places special emphasis on disseminating up-to-date information concerning animal alternatives. It also seeks to provide investigators who use animals with information on the most current methods for improving all aspects of animal care during their work. Anyone conducting research or using animals for teaching at UC Davis must first document there are no viable alternatives to the use of animals for the objective of their research or teaching, or if alternatives, why the alternatives are not adequate.

Studies at the California National Primate Research Center must pass three levels of review in order to be conducted:

  • The project must be reviewed and approved by the UC Davis Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC). At UC Davis, a single IACUC oversees all animal use in research and teaching in order to ensure that the highest ethical and animal welfare standards are met. The IACUC reviews all submitted protocols for compliance with the requirements of the Animal Welfare Act, the NIH Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals, the Public Health Service Policy on the Humane Care and Use of Laboratory Animals, and UC Davis Policies and Guidelines. The IACUC submits reports and recommendations to the Institutional Official. The UC Davis IACUC is a faculty-based committee with 25 members (faculty, facility staff, Attending Veterinarian, IACUC staff, public non-affiliated members, non-scientists in addition to 12 alternate members) and inspects all animal facilities, evaluates all aspects of the institutional animal care program, establishes policy and procedure for the UC Davis campus, and coordinates training, compliance, and occupational health programs for all of UC Davis including the CNPRC.
  • The Center’s Research Advisory Committee (RAC) also reviews the proposed project to make certain that it is feasible and that the study justifies the use of the Center’s resources.
  • Additionally, NIH-funded research is reviewed at the National Institutes of Health (or other funding agency).

Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee

The campus Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) must approve each animal research and teaching project before it can begin. This review process is mandated by federal law and to maintain compliance with the Public Health Service (NIH) guidelines on humane care and use of laboratory animals. The committee must verify that the living conditions of the animals are appropriate for the species, that the use of pain-relieving drugs is adequate, and that the numbers of animals are the minimum necessary to complete the project.

Inspections and Accreditation

Animal welfare inspectors from the U.S. Department of Agriculture regularly make routine unannounced inspections of the campus, as required by federal law. The CNPRC is also part of the UC Davis Animal Care Program that is accredited by the Association for Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care (AAALAC) a private, non-profit group that promotes the humane treatment of animals in science through voluntary accreditation.

The entire campus recently participated in an AAALAC site visit and received continued AAALAC accreditation recognizing the long-standing commitment to high quality animal care (Click here for a link to the recent accreditation letter from AAALAC).


Statement by NIH in Response to Concerns about Non-Human Primates in Research – January 26, 2015
Research with non-human primates and other animal species is key to helping us understand and improve human health in a multitude of ways, including the development of treatments and interventions. For instance, research in nonhuman primates contributed to the development of the yellow fever vaccine and the polio vaccine in the 1950s, and is now critical in the development of a vaccine for the Ebola crisis. Similarly, basic research conducted in monkeys helped lay the foundation for an effective treatment for patients with advanced Parkinson’s disease known as deep brain stimulation. Many patients have reaped—and will continue to reap—dramatic benefits as a result of this research.  See here for full NIH Statement.