Congress' mission for the Center was clearly provided in the 1985 amendments to the Animal Welfare Act (AWA):
The Secretary [of Agriculture] shall establish an information service at the National Agricultural Library. Such service shall, in cooperation with the National Library of Medicine, provide information--
(1) pertinent to employee training;
(2) which could prevent unintended duplication of animal experimentation as determined by the needs of the research facility; and
(3) on improved methods of animal experimentation, including methods which could--
(A) reduce or replace animal use; and
(B) minimize pain and distress to animals, such as anesthetic and analgesic procedures.
The focus of the Center's information products, services, and activities is to help the regulated community with employee training and to promote the humane care and use of animals by providing information on alternatives (improved methods of animal experimentation which could reduce or replace animal use or minimize pain and distress to animals). AWIC also provides support to other USDA agencies such as the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, Animal Care and the Agricultural Research Service.