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Chief Veterinary Officer

NASA is committed to humane and responsible use of live vertebrates and higher order cephalopods in Agency-supported research, testing, teaching, and hardware development activities.

Meet NASA’s Chief Veterinary Officer about Chief Veterinary Officer

NASA Animal Research Principles and Policies

NASA Policy Directive (NPD) 8910.1 Care and Use of Animals

This directive establishes policy for the care and use of vertebrate animals and higher order cephalopods (hereinafter, animals), recognizing NASA’s responsibility for the stewardship of the animals and to the scientific community and society, in adherence with the ethical principles of respect for life, societal benefit, and nonmaleficence.

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A close-up of the head of the rover’s remote sensing mast. The mast head contains the SuperCam instrument. (Its lens is in the large circular opening.) In the gray boxes beneath mast head are the two Mastcam-Z imagers. On the exterior sides of those imagers are the rover’s two navigation cameras.
NASA/JPL-Caltech

Animal Welfare Act

The Animal Welfare Act (AWA) was signed into law on August 24, 1966. It is the only Federal law in the United States that regulates the treatment of animals in research, teaching, testing, exhibition, transport, and by dealers. The Act is enforced by USDA, APHIS, Animal Care.

Learn More about Animal Welfare Act
Computer simulation showing clouds on Mars forming and dispersing over one day

Animal Research Policy Regulations

NASA also follows animal research policy regulations set by external Federal Agencies.

view from above of the equipment in the electric propulsion test facility with researchers inside a glass wall.

National Institutes of Health’s Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare – PHS Policy on Humane Care and Use of Laboratory Animals

It is the Policy of the Public Health Service (PHS) to require institutions to establish and maintain proper measures to ensure the appropriate care and use of all animals involved in research, research training, and biological testing activities conducted or supported by the PHS.

An astronaut performs ISS operations in support of the Rodent Research-1 validation flight in late 2014.

Health Research Extension Act of 1985

The Health Research Extension Act of 1985 (Public Law 99-158) provides the legislative mandate for the Public Health Service (PHS) Policy on Humane Care and Use of Laboratory Animals (Policy).

Aubrie O’Rourke, a project scientist at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center

Animal Welfare – Standards: 9 CFR part 3 Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service

Submit an Animal Welfare Concern via Email

Animals used in NASA-supported research or training receive humane and responsible care and use in accordance with federal animal welfare laws, regulations, policies, and guidelines. Any person who witnesses or suspects the misuse of animals, inadequate animal care, or other noncompliance is encouraged to report their concern(s) to the Chief Veterinary Officer and the Office of Research Assurance.

Click to Email (hq-oora@mail.nasa.gov)

Report an Animal Welfare Concern Anonymously

ANONYMOUS concerns may be submitted through the Office of Research Assurance

via telephone at 281-244-1800

You are protected by federal law from retaliation when you report a concern via email and telephone.

NO adverse action will be taken against you.