The Commissioner of Laboratory Animals, a licensed veterinarian, oversees the care and use of laboratory animals in Cambridge, as mandated by Ordinance 1086 of the city's municipal code. Cambridge is one of the few cities in the United States with such a program.
The 1989 ordinance follows regulations set forth by the federal Animal Welfare Act, the Public Health Service Policy, and the Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals. The ordinance applies to all vertebrate species, regardless of a laboratory's funding source.
The Commissioner of Laboratory Animals inspects all research laboratories annually, and reviews research protocols and procedures. The Commissioner is an employee of the Cambridge Public Health Department, and is not aligned with any antivivisection or biomedical research organizations or movements.
The Commissioner currently works with 44 laboratories in the city.