University of Vermont

Research and Animal Welfare

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How much animal research is conducted at UVM?
UVM researchers conducted over 600 sponsored research projects in 2009; about 12 percent of these involved animals. (Source: Office of Sponsored Programs, Sept 2009)

What animals are used in research at UVM?
Research animals used at UVM, as of July, 2010: Mice and rats account for the vast majority of research (more than 97 percent). Guinea pigs and frogs also are used regularly. Use of other animals is only occasional. Some other animal species used include rabbits, hamsters and gerbils and very occasionally, pigs and dogs.

ALL animals used in biomedical research at UVM are purpose-bred specifically for laboratory use and obtained from high-health status laboratory animal vendors.

Does UVM use non-human primates for biomedical research?
No. The University has not utilized non-human primates for research for many years.

Does UVM perform research utilizing dogs and cats?
A very small number of research protocols require the use of dogs; no UVM research has utilized cats for many years. Again, all dogs used in research at UVM are bred specifically for research purposes.

What is UVM doing to assure that research utilizing animals is conducted humanely?

  • The University of Vermont complies with all federal regulations and guidelines for the use of animals in research, established by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare (OLAW) of the National Institutes of Health. A USDA Animal Welfare Veterinarian conducts regular unscheduled inspections of all UVM animal research facilities.
  • UVM is one of over 700 research institutions accredited by the Association for Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care International (AAALAC), a private, non-profit organization that promotes the humane treatment of animals in science through a voluntary accreditation program. The University goes through a voluntary extensive re-accreditation process every three years.
  • UVM has an Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) comprised of scientists, veterinarians and a community representative who review research proposals. The IACUC decides whether the researchers may conduct a study involving the use of animals and the parameters of such use.

The well-being of animals is a prime consideration on the part of the researchers themselves, as well as the veterinarians and animal care technicians who work with these animals. Pragmatically, the integrity and value of the research rely on a high-quality physical and social environment for the animals.

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