Humane Care and Use of Laboratory Animals

Policy Name: Public Health Service Policy on Humane Care and Use of Laboratory Animals

Policy Number: ACA-1015

Effective: Legacy

Revised: Not applicable

Policy Statement

In order to approve proposed research projects or proposed significant changes in ongoing research projects, the IACUC shall conduct a review of those components related to the care and use of animals and determine that the proposed research projects are in accordance with this Policy. In making this determination, the IACUC shall confirm that the research project will be conducted in accordance with the Animal Welfare Act insofar as it applies to the research project, and that the research project is consistent with the Guide unless acceptable justification for a departure is presented.

Further, the IACUC shall determine that the research project conforms with the institution's Assurance and meets the following requirements:

  1. Procedures with animals will avoid or minimize discomfort, distress, and pain to the animals, consistent with sound research design.
     
  2. Procedures that may cause more than momentary or slight pain or distress to the animals must be justified in writing by the investigator, and warranted by a clear scientific benefit.
     
  3. Procedures that may cause more than momentary or slight pain or distress to the animals will be performed with appropriate sedation, analgesia or anesthesia, unless the procedure is additionally justified in writing by the investigator, with the clear scientific benefit outweighing the proposed pain or distress.
     
  4. Animals that would otherwise experience severe or chronic pain or distress that cannot be relieved will be painlessly euthanized at the end of the procedure or, if appropriate, during the procedure.
     
  5. The living conditions of animals will be appropriate for their species and contribute to their health and comfort. The housing, feeding, and nonmedical care of the animals will be directed by a veterinarian or other scientist trained and experienced in the proper care, handling, and use of the species being maintained or studied.
     
  6. Medical care for animals will be available and provided as necessary by a qualified veterinarian.
     
  7. Personnel conducting procedures on the species being maintained or studied will be appropriately trained and qualified in those procedures.
     
  8. Methods of euthanasia used will be consistent with the recommendations of the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) Panel on Euthanasia, unless a deviation is justified for scientific reasons in writing by the investigator.
     
  9. Prior to the review, each IACUC member shall be provided with a list of proposed research projects to be reviewed. Written descriptions of research projects that involve the care and use of animals shall be available to all IACUC members, and any member of the IACUC may obtain, upon request, full committee review of those research projects. If full committee review is not requested, at least one member of the IACUC, designated by the chairperson and qualified to conduct the review, shall review those research projects and have the authority to approve, require modifications in (to secure approval), or request full committee review of those research projects. If full committee review is requested, approval of those research projects may be granted only after review at a convened meeting of a quorum of the IACUC and with the approval vote of a majority of the quorum present. No member may participate in the IACUC review or approval of a research project in which the member has a conflicting interest (e.g., is personally involved in the project) except to provide information requested by the IACUC; nor may a member who has a conflicting interest contribute to the constitution of a quorum.
     
  10. The IACUC may invite consultants to assist in the review of complex issues. Consultants may not approve or withhold approval of an activity or vote with the IACUC unless they are also members of the IACUC.
     
  11. The IACUC shall notify investigators and the institution in writing of its decision to approve or withhold approval of those activities related to the care and use of animals, or of modifications required to secure IACUC approval. If the IACUC decides to withhold approval of an activity, it shall include in its written notification a statement of the reasons for its decision and give the investigator an opportunity to respond in person or in writing.
     
  12. Applications and proposals that have been approved by the IACUC may be subject to further appropriate review and approval by officials of the institution. However, those officials may not approve an activity involving the care and use of animals if it has not been approved by the IACUC.
     
  13. The IACUC shall conduct continuing review of each previously approved, ongoing activity covered by this Policy at appropriate intervals as determined by the IACUC, including a complete review in accordance with IV.C.1.-4 at least once every three years.
     
  14. The IACUC may suspend an activity which it previously approved if it determines that the activity is not being conducted in accordance with applicable provisions of the Animal Welfare Act, the Guide, the institution's Assurance, or IV.C.1.a.-g of this Policy.11 The IACUC may suspend an activity only after review of the matter at a convened meeting of a quorum of the IACUC and with the suspension vote of a majority of the quorum present.
     
  15. If the IACUC suspends an activity involving animals, the Institutional Official in consultation with the IACUC shall review the reasons for suspension, take appropriate corrective action, and report that action, together with a full explanation, to the Institutional Official, University President, School Dean, and Primary Investigator(s).
     
  16. Suspensions of activities involving animals will be reported to OLAW by the IACUC Chair after the IACUC has voted upon it.
     

Taken in part from: Review of PHS-Conducted or Supported Research Projects
https://olaw.nih.gov/policies-laws/phs-policy.htm