The recent opinion piece by Jan Weeks, “Animal Welfare at UCD,“ makes a number of inaccurate statements about the animal research at UC Davis and at the California National Primate Research Center.
Research with animals benefits both human and animal health, and is strictly regulated by federal law. Research at UC Davis, for example, has enabled new treatments to prevent transmission of HIV from mothers to babies. Other research areas include autism, stem cell research, Alzheimer’s disease, asthma and lung diseases. Computer models, cell cultures and new imaging technologies all have their part to play in biomedical research, and our researchers have adopted many of these technologies to reduce the use of animals. But they cannot take the place of animal studies in fully understanding complex processes inside the body.
All research projects at the Center have to be approved by the campus Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee and by funding agencies. UC Davis follows the federal Public Health Service guidelines on the care of laboratory animals, and our facilities are regularly inspected by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Further, UC Davis’s animal care program is accredited by an independent body, the Association for the Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care, AAALAC.
Animal research evokes strong passions on both sides of the question. At UC Davis we are committed to providing for the best possible animal care program while fully supporting the efforts of our researchers to advance both human and animal health.
Vice-Chancellor for Administration
Professor and Director of the California National Primate Research Center