AAALAC International

The Columbia University animal care and use program is proud to be accredited by AAALAC International, who will be conducting a triennial site visit of Columbia University in June or July 2022 (final date pending). This visit is an important part of the re-accreditation process; the University’s ability to continue animal research activities depends upon a successful outcome on this review. The scope of the AAALAC site visit includes a walk-through of animal facilities as well as PI-directed laboratories that work with animals in research. Both animal welfare and worker safety will be scrutinized, so it is crucial that laboratories maintain best practices to help ensure that the site visit is a success. In the weeks leading up to the site visit, EH&S staff make unscheduled visits to laboratories that work with animals. During this outreach they engage the PI, lab manager or any other lab members that are present to have a brief conversation about the expectations for AAALAC and survey worker safety provisions in all areas where animals are handled. Areas of focus include attention to appropriate laboratory attire and personal protective equipment, engineering controls for use of formaldehyde, isoflurane, and biohazardous materials, access to eye wash stations, as well as housekeeping practices such as hand hygiene and use of appropriate disinfectants. Tip sheets for maintaining a laboratory that will meet the expectations of the AAALAC International accreditors can be accessed here: