IACUC Policy: Principal Investigator Responsibilities
Policy # IBT-104.00 IACUC Approval: January 27, 2014

Purpose:
To define the responsibilities of a Principal Investigator (PI) working at the Texas A&M Health Science Center Campus.

Scope:
All research personnel designated as principal investigators on Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) approved protocols that utilize animals subject to oversight by Texas A&M Health Science Center.

Definitions:
IACUC-Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee-responsible for the oversight of the animal care and use program
PAR – Program for Animal Resources - includes the Attending Veterinarian and animal support staff

Responsibilities:
The Principal Investigator:

  1. Agrees to abide by PHS Policy, USDA Regulations when applicable, Institutional policies for the care and use of animals, the provisions of the ILAR Guide to the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals, and all other federal, state, and local laws and regulations governing the use of animals in research.
  2. Agrees to submit an application for the use of animals to the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) for any proposed use of animals in research, teaching or testing, before initiating any research project that uses animal subjects at the institution; and must wait for IACUC approval before beginning the work.
  3. Understands that he/she must submit an amendment for any proposed changes to their protocol (including the addition of personnel) and must wait for IACUC approval before beginning the work.
  4. Agrees to submit a progress report/annual review and receive IACUC approval prior to the anniversary date the IACUC approved the protocol to continue work uninterrupted on the protocol.
  5. Ensures that all animals utilized by research staff have been approved by PAR staff (animal housing space and animal health status/vendor) and IACUC (animal use protocol).
  6. Declares that all experiments involving live animals will be performed under the PIs supervision or that of another qualified person listed on the protocol and that the PI has overall responsibility for laboratory personnel handling animals in laboratory and in PAR facilities.
  7. Certifies that all personnel having direct animal contact, including themselves, have been trained in humane and scientifically acceptable procedures including but not limited to: animal handling, administration of anesthetics, analgesics, and euthanasia to be used in the project.
  8. Certifies that all personnel in this project will complete all training applicable to research conducted under the protocol and in compliance with the training policy.
  9. Understands that the use of hazardous agents in animals may only be initiated after approval from the Safety officer, IBC (if appropriate biohazard) and the IACUC.
  10. Certifies that all personnel working on this protocol will be given the opportunity to participate in the medical monitoring program (Occupational Health Program). All personnel on the protocol will be made aware of the hazards involving the use of live animals, tissues, biohazards, chemical and radiation hazards.
  11. Ensures that any animal pain, discomfort or distress will be alleviated by the proper use of analgesics, anesthetics or tranquilizers unless the approved experimental protocol provides scientific justification why such agents cannot be used.
  12. Ensures any breeding stock be accurately maintained, properly documented and monitored for genetic purity.
  13. Understands it is the responsibility of the PI to ensure the safe and ethical conduct of all research conducted under this protocol, and to assure that all research is carried out following federal, state, local, and institutional policies governing animal research.
  14. Understands that emergency veterinary care will be administered to animals showing evidence of pain or illness, in addition to routine veterinary care as prescribed for individual species. The PI understands that it is his/her responsibility to provide current and updated emergency contact information to personnel responding in an emergency in order for them to contact research personnel to assist with decision making.
  15. The PI understands that any unanticipated adverse effects, pain or distress must be reported to the veterinarian or his/her designee.
  16. Certifies that he/she will maintain complete, up-to-date and accessible records of procedures on animals as required by policy and regulation.
  17. Ensures that proper sanitation practices are followed before, during and after animal experimentation.
  18. Reports any violations of the Animal Welfare Act, PHS Policy, IACUC requirements including policies, the Guide or Animal Facility SOPs & Policies to the IACUC.

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