The cost of self-imposed regulatory burden in animal research

FASEB J. 2014 Aug;28(8):3297-300. doi: 10.1096/fj.14-254094. Epub 2014 Apr 30.


U.S. federal regulations and standards governing the care and use of research animals enacted in the mid- to late 1980s, while having positive effects on the welfare and quality of the animals, have resulted in dramatic increases in overall research costs. In addition to the expenses of housing and caring for animals according to the standards, establishing the requisite internal compliance bureaucracies has markedly driven up costs, in both institutional monetary expenditures and lost research effort. However, many institutions are increasing these costs even further through additional self-imposed regulatory burden, typically characterized by overly complex compliance organizations and unnecessary policies and procedures. We discuss the sources of this self-imposed burden and recommend strategies for avoiding it while preserving an appropriate focus on animal well-being and research success.

Keywords: compliance; oversight; policies; standards.

MeSH terms

  • Academies and Institutes / economics
  • Academies and Institutes / standards
  • Animal Care Committees
  • Animal Experimentation / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Animal Experimentation / standards*
  • Animal Testing Alternatives / economics
  • Animal Welfare / economics
  • Animal Welfare / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Animal Welfare / standards*
  • Animals
  • Animals, Laboratory
  • Conflict of Interest
  • Cost-Benefit Analysis
  • Costs and Cost Analysis
  • Forms and Records Control
  • Guideline Adherence
  • Guidelines as Topic
  • Housing, Animal / economics
  • Housing, Animal / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Housing, Animal / standards
  • Organizational Policy
  • Research / economics*
  • Research / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Research / standards