Colorado State University
College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences
Prohibition Against Use of Shelter-Derived Animals for Research or Teaching1
Effective January, 2005 and Revised March, 2006
College policy prohibits the acquisition of live animals from shelters, either directly or indirectly through third party vendors, for use in research or teaching. The College recognizes that many individuals in our society are opposed, on ethical and scientific grounds, to the release of animals from shelters (pound seizure) for use in research or teaching. This objection is founded in the understanding that pounds or animal shelters were not designed as facilities to supply animals for such activities. Rather, they were developed to be places where people may bring unwanted or stray animals in the hope of a new home being found. If not successfully adopted, the animals may be painlessly euthanatized. The release of these animals for research or teaching may be interpreted as a breach of the public trust that could lead to loss of public support. However, all animals requiring veterinary services will be provided necessary medical care by our College as authorized by the shelter legally responsible for their care, and these services may coincidentally fulfill research or teaching objectives.Whereas it is true that the animals to be released from shelters are often those slated for euthanasia, concerned individuals deliberate on the quality of life prior to death. Unwanted animals are more likely to be euthanatized quickly and humanely in a shelter. If released to an intermediary animal vendor for research or teaching, conditions under which they are housed may be less than ideal and not consistent with the expectations of the individuals who surrendered the animal, nor consistent with the high standards applied for animal housing by our College - this applies to physical facilities, exercise, and socialization supplied by the third party vendor. There is also concern regarding the issue of the quality of research or teaching when shelter-derived animals are used. These animals have an unknown genetic and medical history, and unidentified variables may be introduced when these animals are used for these purposes.
In addition, no purpose-bred or purpose-euthanized dogs are used in our teaching of canine anatomy. All dogs are euthanized at the local humane society in the course of the society's normal animal population control operations. These dogs have either behavioral or medical problems that preclude their being placed for adoption. After dogs are euthanized, their remains are donated to CSU for educational purposes. The Animal Care and Use Committee of Colorado State University has approved the protocol for this educational use and conducts an annual review for renewal of the project. We strive to reduce the number of animals needed for education and to replace their use where possible.
Animals typically available through an established commercial agricultural market, such as cattle, horses, pigs, sheep, goats and rabbits, are procured through those markets or directly by contractual arrangement from farms where these animals are bred and raised exclusively for sale on the commercial market.
The College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences is committed to providing and supporting the highest quality standards of animal care. Whenever possible, live animals to be used for research or teaching are purchased from USDA Class A, Association for Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care (AAALAC)-accredited animal dealers.
As always, animal use in research and teaching conducted at Colorado State University is regulated by federal laws, regulations and policies. These include the USDA Animal Welfare Act and the Public Health Service (PHS) Policy on Humane Care and Use of Laboratory Animals. USDA inspectors and an institutional Animal Care and Use Committee monitor compliance with these laws.
1 Adapted from the Association of Veterinarians for Animal Rights Board of Directors Policy Statement on Release of Nonhuman Animals from Pounds for Research, July 1985
2 Fort Collins Municipal Code and Charter Sec. 4-141. Adoption or disposal of unclaimed animals. (Ord. No. 160, 1986, § 1(35-33), 11-4-86; Ord. No. 083, 2004, § 9, 7-20-04)