IACUC Policy: Policy Statement on Animal Research
Policy # IBT-101.00 IACUC Approval: January 27, 2014

Purpose:

The Texas A&M Health Science Center supports the judicious use of animals in teaching, research, and testing in the interests of human and animal welfare. The Institution recognizes that scientific and medical knowledge developed through animal research has saved many lives, has improved human and animal health, and has alleviated pain and suffering.

 The Institution insists on humane and ethical treatment of any animals used in research, education, and testing. The Institution recognizes its legal and ethical responsibilities to ensure that animals are not used needlessly and are spared all unnecessary pain and distress.

 Scope:

This policy applies to all research personnel and protocols subject to oversight by Texas A&M Health Science Center.

 Responsibilities:

All personnel are required to adhere to all applicable federal, state, local laws or guidelines governing animal research, (e.g. Animal Welfare Act and Regulations (AWA), the Public Health Service Policy on Humane Care and Use of Laboratory Animals, Principles for the Care and Use of Animals Used in Testing, Research and Education, Guide for Care and Use of Laboratory Animals and the Health Research Extension act of 1985) as well as all Institutional policies, Standard Operating Procedures (SOP)s and guidelines.

 Policy:

 I. Inhumane treatment or abuse of any animal will not be tolerated. Any personnel observed abusing or mistreating animals will be denied access to the animal facility and may face institutional disciplinary actions.

 II. All animals will be housed under conditions that provide sufficient space, as well as supplementary structures and resources required to meet physical, physiologic, and behavioral (social) needs, unless scientific justification has been approved by the IACUC, for veterinary research, medical or behavioral reasons.

 III. Procedures involving animals will be designed and performed with due consideration of their relevance to human or animal health, the advancement of knowledge, or the good of society (US Government Principle, II). This means that the institution will work diligently to balance ethical consideration of animal use with the potential value to humans, animals, science, and society.

 IV. All animal research at the institution will employ the usage of the 3-Rs: Reduction, Refinement, and Replacement

  1. Reduction-Strategies will be incorporated within study design to reduce the overall number of animals needed. Always use the fewest number of animals to reach statistical significance.
  2. Refinement-Modify animal procedures to minimize or eliminate pain and distress, when possible.
  3. Replacement-Replace animal procedures with non-animal models when available, or replace higher animals with animals that are lower on the phylogenic scale.

 V. All personnel who govern the use of animals or work with animals will be adequately trained, educated or qualified to help ensure high-quality science and animal well-being at all levels of the institution including but not limited to: Institutional Officials, IACUC members, Scientists, researchers, Animal care staff, administrative staff, and students.

 References:

  1. Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA. US Animal Welfare Act (AWA 1990) and Regulations (PL-89-544, as amended, 7USC Ch. 54) 2008. CFR Title 9, Subchapter A - Animal Welfare. U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C.
  2. National Research Council. Institute for Laboratory Animal Research. 2011. Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals. Public Health Service, Bethesda, MD.
  3. Public Health Service Policy on Humane Care and Use of Laboratory Animals http://grants.nih.gov/grants/olaw/references/phspol.htm.
  4. Silverman, Jerald, et.al. 2000. The IACUC Handbook: The Basic Unit of an Effective Animal Care and Use Program. Baltimore, MD.
  5. ARENA/OLAW Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee Guidebook, 2nd Ed. 2002.

 History:

Version 00 -  Initial Approval: January 27, 2014