What Is the Health Research Extension Act of 1985?

animal test tube


This legislative mandate directed the Secretary of Health and Human Services to create and enforce guidelines for the care and treatment of animals used in research. It’s important to note that the Public Health Service (PHS) Policy on Humane Care and Use of Laboratory Animals was now law. The guidelines stated the proper use of tranquilizers, anesthetics, paralytics, and euthanasia.

The Health Research Extension Act: “sets forth the requirements that are applicable to all research, research training, biological testing, and related activities involving animals that are supported or conducted by agencies of the PHS.” The policy guidelines state institutional responsibilities for Animal Welfare Assurances, Institutional Animal Care and Use Committees (IACUCs), review of projects, programmatic evaluations, facility inspections, record keeping, and reporting. Furthermore, the legislation outlines how animals should be handled for pre- and post-surgery.

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