Standards for Assessing the Quality of Laboratory Rodents

Laboratory animals are essential for conducting biomedical research world-wide. As most animals used for biomedical research are mice and rats, the quality of laboratory rodents has a major influence on research results and ultimately on human health. Standards for the health care and genetic backgrounds of laboratory rodents have improved greatly, but new challenges will arise due to the accelerating development of diverse populations of genetically engineered animals. The use of genetically engineered rodents has increased significantly among major research centers in many countries, and this trend is likely to continue since the complete decoding of the human and rodent genomes. Further, laboratory exchanges of rodents and rodent products are expanding with the increase in inter-institutional collaborations related to animal experimentation. The rigorous assessment and reporting of the genetic and health status of genetically engineered rodents are critical for producing accurate research results.

AALAS encourages and supports the establishment of international standards for monitoring and maintaining the quality of rodents and rodent products, so as to strengthen and protect this crucial investment in animal-based research.