Update of Sample Animal Welfare Assurance for Foreign Institutions

Notice Number: NOT-OD-10-083

Key Dates
Release Date: April 16, 2010

Issued by
Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare (OLAW), (http://olaw.nih.gov/), Office of Extramural Research

This Notice informs Public Health Service (PHS) grantee institutions regarding revisions to the sample Animal Welfare Assurance for Foreign Institutions document (Foreign Assurance) formerly known as the Statement of Compliance for Foreign Institutions. 

The Public Health Service Policy on Humane Care and Use of Laboratory Animals (PHS Policy) requires that institutions in foreign countries receiving PHS support for activities involving animals shall have an approved written Foreign Assurance on file with OLAW. In the Foreign Assurance, the institution shall agree to conduct their animal care and use program in compliance with the PHS Policy, or provide evidence to OLAW that acceptable standards for the humane care and use of the animals in PHS-conducted or supported activities will be met. OLAW is required by the PHS Policy to provide instructions and an example of an acceptable Foreign Assurance to grantee institutions.
Changes to the Sample Foreign Assurance Document

OLAW updated the sample Foreign Assurance document in March 2010. Changes to the document clarify essential information and define the elements that are required in the Foreign Assurance. Institutions that submit Assurances after June 15, 2010 are asked to follow the format of the revised sample Foreign Assurance. For ease of submission, the signed Foreign Assurance may be converted to a PDF file and e-mailed to the OLAW Division of Assurances at olawdoa@mail.nih.gov or faxed to +1 (301) 915-9465.

A Reminder about Renewal of the Foreign Assurance

Foreign institutions are reminded that OLAW approves Foreign Assurances for periods up to five years. Foreign institutions that currently have a Foreign Assurance will be contacted by OLAW four months prior to the expiration date and asked to submit their renewal within 60 days of the expiration date in order for the renewal to be reviewed and approved within the PHS Policy timeframe. It is incumbent upon the foreign institution to appropriately complete the Assurance document to include a listing of the titles in English of all governing laws, regulations and policies for their country of jurisdiction, and to provide the signature, name and contact information of the Institutional Signing Official, and the names and contact information for two additional institutional representatives. OLAW encourages foreign grantees to use the standards in the Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals. Institutions are reminded that without a valid Foreign Assurance approved by OLAW, an institution may not conduct PHS-supported research or other activities involving live vertebrate animals.

Foreign institutions are encouraged to review the updated sample Foreign Assurance and make use of this new resource when submitting a renewal Assurance.

For questions or further information, contact:

Division of Assurances
Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare
Office of Extramural Research
National Institutes of Health
RKL1, Suite 360
6705 Rockledge Drive
Bethesda, MD 20892-7982
phone: 301-496-7163
fax: 301-915-9465
e-mail: olawdoa@od.nih.gov
web:  http://olaw.nih.gov/

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