Animal welfare accreditation called into question

David is the Online News Editor of Science.

Today, more than 900 institutions in 38 countries have earned accreditation by the Association for Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care (AAALAC) International, including the top 100 National Institutes of Health–funded labs and all major pharmaceutical companies. But an analysis conducted by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals finds that laboratories that are accredited by AAALAC violate national animal welfare guidelines more frequently than do unaccredited facilities. Though AAALAC contends the study is based on biased data collected by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the findings may force a rethink of how lab animal welfare is overseen in the United States and other countries.

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