The 8th Edition of the Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals (Guide NRC, 2011) has been in use since 2011. What changes has it brought? What are the impacts of those changes? The genesis of this important document will be briefly reviewed to reflect the path to the current standards of research animal care and use. An analysis of the scope of use of the Guide will be explored with a specific examination of its effect on scientists, institutional animal care and use committees, animal care personnel, and animals. The key features of each chapter will be highlighted and information will be provided regarding some of the common challenges faced by animal care and use programs as these standards are implemented. Discussion will explore widespread global perspectives and detail several technical, operational and fundamental aspects of current animal program management.