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Office of Research Oversight

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Research Safety and Animal Welfare

The primary focus of the ORO Research Safety and Animal Welfare (RSAW) team’s oversight activities is to assist VHA research programs in their efforts to enhance and further improve the safety of workers and the environment, the physical security of research areas, and the welfare of laboratory animals.  RSAW fulfills this responsibility through onsite evaluations of Research Safety and Security Programs (RSSP) and Animal Care and Use Programs (ACUP) at VHA research facilities and by providing technical assistance to individuals associated with these programs, whenever the need arises.  In addition to program reviews, RSAW also partners with VHA research programs to resolve non-compliance and other unexpected events involving research safety, laboratory security, and laboratory animal welfare oversight programs that are identified and reported to ORO by local oversight committees.

You can contact RSAW by email at

Additional Links

Association for the Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care (AAALAC)

American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS)

American Biological Safety Association (ABSA)

American College of Laboratory Animal Medicine (ACLAM)

Biosafety in Microbiological and Biomedical Laboratories (BMBL) 6th Edition

CDC Select Agent Registry 

Institute for Laboratory Animal Research (ILAR)

Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare (OLAW)

USDA Animal Welfare 

USDA Animal Welfare Act 

Federal Select Agents & Toxins List 

Federal Select Agent Program