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APA seeks comments on revised Guidelines for Ethical Conduct in the Care and Use of Nonhuman Animals in Research

New version reflects latest policies for ensuring welfare of nonhuman animals.

The American Psychological Association’s Committee on Animal Research and Ethics (CARE) is seeking comments from the broad scientific community on the draft version of the revised APA Guidelines for Ethical Conduct in the Care and Use of Nonhuman Animals in Research (the Guidelines)

The purpose of the Guidelines is to assist psychologists who work with nonhuman animals in ensuring humane treatment of the animals and compliance with federal regulatory and policy requirements.

CARE has revised the Guidelines in light of changes to policies and standard practices for research with nonhuman animals (such as the Public Health Service Policy (PDF, 281 KB), 2002, and the American Veterinary Medical Association Guidelines for Euthanasia (PDF, 550 KB), 2007), as well as to accord with the most recent version of the APA Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct (2002). The previous version of the Guidelines, published in 1996, was based on Section 6.20 of the 1996 APA Ethics Code. The revision updates references and citations and refers to Standard 8.09 of the current APA Ethics Code.

(These APA Guidelines are not to be confused with the National Research Council’s Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals, which covers work with nonhuman animals across the entire range of biomedical and behavioral research. The NRC Guide is one source of the recommendations in the APA Guidelines.)  

Comments on the revised draft of the Guidelines are being sought from individual scientists, research and academic institutions, APA governance groups, divisions, and state and provincial psychological associations. Once comments have been reviewed and any concerns addressed by CARE, the APA Board of Scientific Affairs (BSA) will review and approve the final draft before it is sent to the Board of Directors for approval, after which the Council of Representatives will be asked to formally adopt it as APA policy at its meeting in spring 2012.

Comments may be submitted via e-mail to Sangy Panicker, who serves as the APA staff liaison for CARE.  The deadline for comments is July 31, 2011.