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August 28, 2009   Email to Friend 

Jamie Creamer
August 28, 2009

AUBURN, Ala. -- The Auburn University College of Agriculture has earned international accreditation as an institution committed to the responsible and humane treatment, care and use of all research animals.

The endorsement from the private, nonprofit Association for Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care International covers all vertebrate animals--farm and aquatic animals, wildlife and traditional lab animals--used for research and teaching on the Auburn campus and at seven Alabama Ag Experiment Station outlying units where animal research is conducted.

Jim Bannon, outlying units director, coordinated the voluntary application process, a rigorous, detailed effort that spanned almost three years and involved comprehensive internal reviews of every aspect of the college's animal care and use program. A 457-page Auburn College of Ag program description document Bannon produced was the key component of the application packet that college and AAES administrators submitted to the association in early 2009. This was the college's first time to apply for the designation.

The AAALAC then sent four representatives to Auburn for a site review. The site-visit team spent five full days at Auburn, first meeting with Bannon and others to go over the college's program description document page by page and then touring and inspecting all animal facilities, including those at the outlying research units.

The organization officially awarded accreditation earlier this summer, and with that, Auburn's College of Ag joined more than 770 other universities, agencies, companies and institutions in 31 countries that have voluntarily sought and received accreditation. The college must apply for re-accreditation every three years.

Bannon said AAALAC accreditation signifies that the college is strongly committed to humane animal care and that making life as comfortable as possible for all research animals is a top priority for the College of Ag and the AAES. Accreditation also symbolizes program excellence to public and private funding sources and is a recruiting tool in attracting the best and brightest researchers and faculty, he said.

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