Handbook of Operating Procedures 7-1310

Animals Used in Research, Teaching, and Testing Activities

I. Policy Statement 

It is the policy of The University of Texas at Austin (“University”) to assure the care and use of animals for University research, teaching, and testing activities is done in accordance with applicable federal and state laws or regulations. This encompasses those activities conducted in University facilities or on the University’s behalf by faculty, staff, or students.  Failure to comply may result in disciplinary action, up to and including, loss of privileges in the use of animals in those activities.

II. Reason for Policy 

To comply with relevant laws, regulations and guidelines governing the humane care of animals used in research, teaching, and testing activities.

III. Scope & Audience 

This policy applies to all employees, students, and University affiliates who use animals for research, teaching, or testing activities occurring in University facilities or other locations when those projects involve University funding, faculty scholarship, or staff/student effort on behalf of the University.

IV. Definitions (specific to this policy) 
Animal:

any live or dead vertebrate animal used or intended for use in biomedical or behavioral research, research training, teaching, or testing.

De Novo Review:

a review of activities as if it were the first time reviewed.

Attending Veterinarian:

the institutional animal care and use committee (IACUC) attending veterinarian with direct or delegated program responsibility who has training and experience in laboratory animal science and medicine, or in the care of species used.

Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC):

a committee appointed by the University institutional official charged with providing local review and oversight of research and other scholarly activities utilizing animals.

Investigator:

A tenured, tenure track, research faculty member, or any other individual determined by the IACUC to be qualified with assigned research space at the University responsible for the design, conduct, or reporting of the research or educational activity proposed for funding.

V. Website (for policy) 
http://www.policies.utexas.edu/policies/hop/7-1310
VI. Contacts 
Contact Details Web
Office of Research SupportPhone:512-471-8871Website:
VII. Responsibilities & Procedures 
  1. Institutional Official (IO)

The vice president for research is the institutional official (IO) responsible for ensuring activities using animals at the University are humane and in compliance with all applicable external regulations. The IO is responsible for establishing and enforcing relevant University policies and procedures, including but not limited to:

  • Ensuring safety of all research faculty and staff utilizing animals in research and teaching activities.
  • Ensuring ongoing compliance with federal and state laws.
  • Ensuring the authority of the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC).
  • Ensuring the IACUC has sufficient resources for conducting the activities under its jurisdiction.
  • Ensuring the number and experience of the IACUC members is adequate to address the volume and types of research and other scholarly activities so reviews are accomplished in a thorough and timely manner.
  • Conducting periodic reviews of the IACUC and its activities.

The IO is granted the following authorities (list may not be all-inclusive):

  • Establish and appoint members to IACUC or modify its composite membership.
  • Oversee IACUC’s responsibility to establish and implement policies and procedures governing the use of animals in research, teaching, and testing.
  • Review and oversee research, teaching, and testing activities that include the use of vertebrate animals.
  • Provide resources, including budgetary authority, for the IACUC.
  • Suspend or terminate research, teaching, and testing activities as recommended by the IACUC.
  • Provide access to legal counsel on behalf of the IACUC.
  • Place administrative sanctions on investigators for non-compliance with federal, state, or local laws or regulations, guidelines, policies or procedures.
  1. Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC)

The IACUC reports to the IO and is charged with the responsibility for the general oversight, evaluation, and assurance of compliance with the University’s animal care and use program. 

 

The IACUC’s scope of responsibility includes (list may not be all-inclusive):

  • Review at least once every six months the University’s program for humane care and use of animals, using the Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals (Guide) as a basis for evaluation.
  • Inspect at least once every six months the University’s animal facilities, including satellite facilities, using the Guide as a basis for evaluation.
  • Prepare reports regarding IACUC evaluations and submit them to the IO.
  • Review concerns involving the care and use of animals at the University.
  • Make written recommendations to the IO regarding any aspect of the University’s animal program, facilities, or personnel training.
  • Review and approve, require modifications in (to secure approval), or withhold approval of activities related to the care and use of animals.
  • Review and approve, require modifications in (to secure approval), or withhold approval of proposed significant changes regarding use of animals in ongoing activities related to the care and use of animals.
  • Notify investigators, and the University (via the IO) in writing of its decision to approve, withhold approval, or require modifications to secure IACUC approval of activities related to the care and use of animals.
  • Conduct continuing review of each previously approved, ongoing activity related to the care and use of animals at appropriate intervals as determined by the IACUC, including a complete de novo review at least once every three years.
  • Suspend, or terminate an activity involving animals if deemed necessary.
  1. Attending Veterinarian

The attending veterinarian has specific oversight authority involving animals used for research, teaching, and testing activities at the University. This authority is complementary to the IACUC. Investigators are encouraged to call upon the attending veterinarian or other Animal Resources Center (ARC) veterinary staff for guidance in protocol development and consultation on experimental procedures.

 

The attending veterinarian will:

  • serve as director of the (ARC).
  • be a voting member of the IACUC.
  1. Animal Resources Center (ARC)

Under the direction of the attending veterinarian, the ARC’s scope of responsibility includes (list may not be all-inclusive):

  • Procuring laboratory animals.
  • Providing housing and care of research animals in centrally-managed facilities.
  • Providing and maintaining facilities for animal research, such as surgery suites.
  • Overseeing transportation of laboratory animals to or from campus, or from site to site on campus.
  • Providing veterinary services for research animals and veterinary consultation for investigators.
  1. Investigator Responsibilities

A significant burden of responsibility rests with an investigator for the proper use of animals in research, teaching, and testing.

 

  1. With respect to this policy, the investigator is responsible for (list may not be all-inclusive):
  • Obtaining necessary approvals for activities in accordance with the requirements of the funding agency.
  • Ensuring IACUC approvals have been obtained.
  • Assuring the project is performed in accordance with the IACUC approved protocol.
  • Gaining IACUC approval for changes to protocol or activity prior to implementation of those changes.
  • Submitting annual updates to the IACUC.
  1. Additionally, the principal investigator on each grant or contract is responsible for ensuring all researchers on the project are aware of and comply with this policy.
  1. Required Procedures

Investigators using animals must follow specific policies and procedures delineated on the IACUC web page entitled “Policies, Procedures, and Guidelines” found at  http://www.utexas.edu/research/rsc/iacuc/policies_index.html.

 

  1. Use of Animals in Teaching

This policy permits the use of live or dead vertebrate animals solely for instructional purposes under these conditions:

 

  1. The responsible instructor judges the educational goals of the program or course will be best achieved by such usage.
  1. The IACUC evaluates the Animal Utilization Registration Form (AURF) and determines such usage is humane, proper, appropriate, and consistent with government principles and regulations for utilization and care of animals used in research, teaching, and testing.
  1. Only the minimum number of animals essential to instructional objectives should be used. Instructors should be encouraged to use alternatives to animals whenever possible.
XI. History 

Last review date: December 12, 2013
Next scheduled review: December 2015

Previously HOP 11.B.3