The predecessor of the Japanese Association for Laboratory Animal Science (JALAS), the Experimental Animals Research Committee, was founded in October 1951 (President: Dr. Kohji Ando). It started with about 30 members, managing major activities that included 1) supply of microbiologically and genetically standardized animals, 2) supply of animals suitable for cancer research, 3) supply of animal food with defined ingredients, and 4) improvement of housing environments for laboratory animals. It was formally organized as the JALAS in 1980 (President: Dr. Junichi Kawamata). In 2007, JALAS merged with the Japanese Society of Animal Models for Human Diseases and now consists of about 1,200 members from universities, research institutes, and private companies. In May 2011, the 58th annual JALAS meeting was held in Tokyo.
Core Values Statement
The JALAS policy on animal experimentations is as follows (statement in November 2007):
The Japanese Association for Laboratory Animal Science (JALAS) was established for the purpose of advancing laboratory animal science and related areas through the promotion of basic and applied research and the dissemination of relevant information concerning laboratory animals, thereby contributing to the development of science in Japan.
Animal experimentation is an essential part of research, education and testing in such fields as medicine and the life sciences. JALAS members should comply with the Law for the Humane Treatment and Management of Animals as well as the Standards Relating to the Care and Management of Laboratory Animals and Relief of Pain. Furthermore, they should conform to the internationally accepted "3R" (Replacement, Reduction, and Refinement) principle in accordance with the Fundamental Guidelines for Proper Conduct of Animal Experiment and Related Activities compiled by the related ministries as well as the Guidelines for Proper Conduct of Animal Experiments stipulated by the Science Council of Japan.
JALAS began raising the awareness of its members as to the importance of laboratory animal welfare by promulgating the Guidelines for Animal Experimentation in 1987 and publishing a handbook for the Guidelines. JALAS will remain committed to the promotion of the proper conduct of animal experimentation under voluntary management in Japan.
There are currently about 1,200 regular members and five honorary members. An annual meeting is held in May. In addition, the JALAS has held symposia and training courses on laboratory animals. The official JALAS journal, Experimental Animals, is issued quarterly in January, April, July, and October. The contents are freely available on the J-STAGE home page (the Japan Science and Technology Information Aggregator, Electronic). The JALAS confers annual scientific or technical awards to domestic regular members and an annual international award to young scientists in other Asian countries