Animal Use at ETSU

East Tennessee State University recognizes that animals are needed in order to fulfill its research mission and to attain its goal of excellence in teaching. The use of animals enhances the educational experience and training afforded medical, graduate, and undergraduate students, leads to improvements of the health care of humans and animals alike, and heightens the understanding and appreciation of the relationship between humans and animals in nature. East Tennessee State University supports the use of animals in research and education as both necessary and desirable, while concomitantly exercising concern for the welfare of the animals used in such research and education.


At East Tennessee State University, all uses of animals must be reviewed and approved by the University Committee on Animal Care. This committee is comprised of faculty, administrators, a veterinarian, and two community representatives. State and federal regulations, including those of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) are fully supported by a comprehensive, conscientious, and committed institutional effort.

This effort includes:

  • Requiring the approval of the University Committee on Animal Use and Care before an animal may be used in research or education:

    Every research protocol that calls for the use of animals is reviewed semi-annually on the basis of such factors as animal housing, level of investigation or instructor training and preparation, availability of suitable non-animal alternatives, the number and species of animals employed, animal handling procedures, level of discomfort (including stress and pain) experienced by the animals, alleviation of distress or pain and proper means of euthanasia. Projects must be resubmitted for full review to the University Committee on Animal Care after three years.

  • Maintaining the registration for East Tennessee State University as a research facility under the Animal Welfare Act with the USDA and submitting to unannounced inspection of the facilities by veterinary officers.
  • Complying with all provisions of Public Health Service guidelines for the care and use of animals as attested by the National Institutes of Health.
  • Maintaining full accreditation by the Association for Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care (AAALAC), an independent organization that evaluates and accredits all aspects of institutional animal care and use programs upon request.
  • Continually updating and ensuring the optimum training and safety of students, faculty, and technical personnel working with the animals.

The humane use of animals in research and education is a primary commitment of East Tennessee State University. Those faculty, staff, and students involved in this important function accept as their duty the establishment and maintenance of the public trust in this area of substantial societal concern. Members of the community may visit the University's animal facilities or gain further information on this matter through requests addressed to the Office of University Relations.