In order to use animals in research, WMRL has had to be registered with a variety of state and federal agencies as a teaching and research facility. Locally, the WMRL Animal Care and Use Committee (ACUC) has the authority to approve or reject all proposed animal teaching and research projects. The committee follows the guidelines of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) , the Animal Welfare Act, as well as the Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals, published by the Institute for Laboratory Animal Resources (ILAR). The committee, if they so decide, has the authority to require additional safeguards to guarantee humane care for the animals housed at WMRL.
In addition, this committee inspects the facility twice a year. This includes not only the animals and their housing, but also the protocols that are used to show how care is delivered to the animals. Citations by the committee must be rectified within a certain time frame, specified by the committee. Failure to address the problems could mean the cessation of a teaching laboratory or a research project, and possibly the closing of the entire facility, until the concerns are met to the satisfaction of the committee.
State & Federal Agencies
In a similar manner, state and federal agencies make unannounced inspections, to insure that animals are receiving the quality of care mandated by state and federal guidelines. These agencies include the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), the Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare (OLAW, an office of the United States Department of Health and Human Services), the Michigan Department of Agriculture (MDA), and the Michigan Department of Public Health (MDPH). All animals which enter WMRL, for teaching or research, are covered by some or all of these agencies.