CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Vickie Jarrell has been elected to the Council on Accreditation for AAALAC International, a private, nonprofit organization that promotes responsible and humane treatment of animals in research. Jarrell is the associate director of the Illinois Agricultural Experiment Station, and a clinical assistant professor of animal sciences in the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences at the University of Illinois.
“If we are going to keep animals in order to advance science for the benefits of both humans and other animals, we owe them the highest quality of care,” Jarrell said. “The continual assessment of animal care programs by AAALAC International aids scientists and institutions in sustaining high quality care. Valid animal research results rely upon valid animal models, which can only be sustained through high quality animal care and use.”
The Council on Accreditation is a select group of respected animal care and use professionals and researchers who determine whether an institution meets or excels the standards required for AAALAC accreditation. They visit sites and evaluate programs to award or renew accreditation. Jarrell was elected for her expertise in agricultural animals.
“Agricultural animals have specific needs that differ from those of rodents or more traditional laboratory animals. As an animal scientist with experience using agricultural animal models in research, I felt it was important for me to contribute that knowledge in helping institutions that use agricultural animals demonstrate their long-standing commitments to excellent care and husbandry of their herds and flocks,” Jarrell said.
Assessment by AAALAC International is voluntary, and nearly 1,000 institutions in 46 countries have met the standards of responsible animal care and use to receive accreditation. The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has maintained campuswide AAALAC accreditation since 2002. Jarrell serves as a member of the institutional animal care and use committee at the U. of I.