IACUC Policy: Reporting Animal Welfare Concerns
Policy # IBT-112.00 IACUC Approval: February 27, 2014

Purpose: 
The Texas A&M Health Science Center promote the highest standards of animal care and use and are committed to the humane and responsible treatment of all animals being used for research, testing, or education.

Scope:
This policy applies to all animal care and use subject to oversight by the Texas A&M Health Science Center. 

Responsibilities:
All personnel have the ethical and legal responsibility to report animal welfare concerns to the IACUC.

Procedure:
Any observed or suspected animal abuse, mistreatment, or non-compliance with federal, state, or local regulations or non-compliance with an approved protocol, must be reported to the proper personnel. Inappropriate care and use of live vertebrate animals may include inhumane treatment, neglect, or unapproved procedures. If there is an immediate threat to animal welfare, please contact the Attending Veterinarian or designee for immediate action.

Anyone concerned with an animal’s welfare or is aware of non-compliance with policies, rules, regulations, and laws regarding animal care and use for research, teaching, or testing may contact a member of the IACUC, the Attending Veterinarian, Institutional Official, or Office of Research Compliance. Complaints may remain anonymous.  Reports should include (if known) names of personnel involved, principal investigator, who else witnessed the incident, protocol number, location of incident, date and time the incident occurred, and description of what was observed with as much detail as possible.

Members of the IACUC or the Attending Veterinarian will forward the information to the Office of Research Compliance, and the Policy “Investigations of alleged noncompliance and animal concerns” will be followed.

Give the report to your immediate supervisor or confidentially report to any of the contacts listed below or found on the Reporting Animal Welfare Concerns poster in the vivarium:

Office of Research Compliance 979-436-0591
E-mail: researchcompliance@tamhsc.edu ; Fax 979-862-3374
IACUC Chair: 713-677-7520
Attending Veterinarian 281-410-8164

 The IACUC expects all staff to use good judgment when making decisions regarding compliance issues for animal care and use. In all cases, anonymity and confidentiality will be maintained to the limits allowed by law. The Animal Welfare Act provides that “No facility employee, Committee member, or laboratory personnel shall be discriminated against or be subject to any reprisal for reporting violations of any regulations or standards under the Act.” (9 CFR § 2.32(c)(4)). Furthermore, it is each institution’s policy to prohibit any discriminatory or retaliatory action against employees who report such violations.

The IACUC is required by regulations to investigate reports of suspected animal abuse, mistreatment or non-compliance.

History:
Version 00 -  Initial approval – February 27, 2014