Ensuring Animal Welfare: Aves Labs Re-Accredited by AAALAC
AAALAC accreditation recognizes Aves Labs and its commitment to the highest standards of animal-friendly research.
TIGARD, OR – February 21, 2012 – Aves Labs (www.aveslabs.com), a custom antibodies company specializing in the production of chicken polyclonal antibodies (known as IgY), has once again received full re-accreditation from the Association for the Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care (AAALAC) for its animal program.
AAALAC promotes the humane treatment of animals in science through a voluntary accreditation program through which "research programs demonstrate that they not only meet the minimums required by law, but are going the extra step to achieve excellence in animal care." To date, more than 800 organizations in 33 countries have earned accreditation through AAALAC.
"This re-accreditation demonstrates how committed Aves Labs is to maintaining the highest standard of animal care,” said Dr. Gary Ciment, Aves Labs Chief Scientific Officer. “The terms 'sustainable' and 'animal-friendly' have become increasingly common in our 21st century lives, from the grocery store to the mall. One place these terms are rarely mentioned, however, is when it comes to the scientific marketplace. It’s been assumed that scientists don’t take the notions of sustainability and animal-friendliness to heart when it comes time to spend their precious grant dollars on reagents and services. We are seeing sustainable, non-painful methods of producing antibodies becoming increasingly important to researchers and corporations."
While many methodologies exist for polyclonal antibody production in laboratory animals, antibodies are most commonly derived from blood serum that is obtained by terminally bleeding the animal. Rabbits and goats are among the most commonly used laboratory animals. Aves Labs, however, relies exclusively on antibodies present in the egg yolks laid by hens that have immunoglobulin "Y’s" (IgY) versus "G’s" (IgG) in mammals. There are several advantages to producing polyclonal antibodies in chickens:
- Avoid continually starting up new animals due to terminal bleeds
- Yields are higher in chickens – one rabbit yields about 0.8 grams of IgG equivalent to 8 eggs
- Greater flexibility for double- or triple-immunostaining protocols with existing rabbit and/or mouse antibodies
- Used in the same applications as mammalian antibodies, including western blots, immunohistochemistry and immunoprecipitation
- Costs about half the price of rabbit antibodies
"Our clients value the added benefit of knowing that Aves’ products have been manufactured without unnecessary cruelty – no need for restraints or bleeds. We have practiced animal-friendly research for nearly twenty years. Sustainability and animal-friendly procedures are increasingly used as a factor for decisions involving the scientific marketplace," adds Dr. Ciment.
To become accredited, Aves Labs had to carry out an extensive self-assessment of all aspects of their animal research program. AAALAC evaluators reviewed the self-assessment and conducted a site visit to Aves’ facilities to ensure that regulations and standards of care were being met. Aves Labs has been accredited since 2005.
About Aves Labs
Aves Labs is a custom antibodies company specializing exclusively in the humane production of chicken polyclonal antibodies (IgY). Since 1995, Aves Labs has produced thousands of custom antibodies for researchers in academia, biotechnology and government within the areas of neuroscience, cancer research, experimental biology and cell biology. Aves Labs also produces neural cell marker antibodies, epitope tag antibodies, GFP antibodies and a variety of support reagents (e.g., blocking reagents, immunoprecipitation reagents, etc.). For more information about Aves Labs, please visit www.aveslabs.com.
AAALAC International is a private, non-profit organization that promotes the humane treatment of animals in science through voluntary accreditation and assessment programs. More than 800 companies, universities, hospitals, government agencies and other research institutions in 33 countries have earned AAALAC accreditation. Some of the institutions that have earned AAALAC accreditation include the Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, Harvard Medical School, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, The American Red Cross and the National Institutes of Health.