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VA Animal Research Guidance Documents

Document #


Distribution Date


Signatures Required on the ACORP

November 23, 2020


USDA Definition of Category E (Summary and Clarification by the Office of the CVMO)

October 11, 2019


Adoption of Research Animals Covered by the USDA Animal Welfare Act Regulations

Supporting Documents:

VA Agreement with Homes for Animal Heroes for Arranging Suitable Adoptions (August 14, 2018)

AVMA Policy on Adoption of Research Animals (2019)

ACLAM Position Statement on Adoption of Research Animals (October 2017)

July 2, 2018


Canine, Feline and Non-Human Primate Research Protocols (revised guidance, expanded to incorporate review and approval by the Secretary and to address research with felines and non-human primates in addition to canines)

July 16, 2020 (revision 5)


ORD-ORO Joint Guidance on Semi-annual Reviews of the ACUP (guidance)

September 23, 2016


Drafting an MOU (template tool)

August 13, 2015 (original), March 28, 2018 (updated), May 29, 2018 (typos corrected); January 03, 2020 (revised)


Criteria for NSM and NAM (guidance)

Decision Flowcharts

August 13, 2015 (written guidance)

December 8, 2016 (flowcharts)


Annual Continuing Review of Protocols (guidance)

August 11, 2015


Mechanisms for Modifying Approved Protocols (flowchart)

March 12, 2015


Departures Decision Tree (flowchart)

March 12, 2015


What to Copy to the CVMO (guidance)

June 2, 2014

Animal care staff.

Animal care staff members should receive training appropriate for their responsibilities, and consistent with the training commitments in both the AAALAC Program Description and PHS Assurance. Some stations utilize the web coursework in item number 2 as part of the overall training program, but this is not a requirement in VA policy.

Guidance on Animal Research FOIA Requests

On January 30, 2013, VHA issued updated guidance to FOIA Officers (1.6 MB, PDF) on FOIA requests related to animal research. Please notify the CVMO's office immediately if your station receives such a request.

Animal Facility (Veterinary Medical Unit) renovation and construction design manuals

The VA Office of Construction & Facilities Management provides mandatory construction and renovation standards for VA animal facilities. The following design manuals that impact VA animal facilities are available in PDF format at

Some of the design manuals above reference sections in the 1993 Veterinary Medical Unit (VMU) VA Design Guide, which remains an important source of VA animal facility design criteria. This 1993 design guide is also available on the TIL Design Guides (PG-18-12), see section on "Veterinary Medical Unit"."


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