Handbook of Operating Procedures 7-1310
Use of Animals in Research and Teaching Activities
The University of Texas at Austin
Executive Sponsor: Vice President for Research
March 31, 2010
Section I. General Policy Guidelines
- Policy Statement
It is the policy of The University of Texas at Austin (University) to assure that the care and use of animals for all research or teaching activities conducted in University facilities or by faculty, staff, or students of the University will be done in accordance with applicable federal and state laws or regulations. Failure to comply may result in disciplinary action up to and including loss of privileges to use animals in teaching and research activities.
The establishment of this policy enables the University to comply with all relevant laws, regulations and guidelines (regulations and guidelines include but may not be limited to the Public Health Service Policy on the Humane Care and Use of Laboratory Animals; the Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals (the “Guide”); the U.S. Government Principles for the Utilization and Care of Vertebrate Animals Used in Teaching, Research, and Training; and the Animal Welfare Act and Animal Welfare Regulations (9 CFR Subchapter A))governing the humane care and use of research animals.
This policy applies to all individuals who utilize animals for research or teaching activities. It is applicable to activities that occur in University facilities as well as other locations whenever projects involve University funding, faculty scholarship, or staff/student effort as part of University activities.
Any live or dead vertebrate animal used or intended for use in biomedical or behavioral research, research training, teaching, or testing.
Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC)
A committee appointed by The University of Texas at Austin Institutional Official charged with the responsibility of providing local review and oversight of research and other scholarly activities utilizing animals.
Generally, an Investigator is a faculty member, principal investigator, research scientist, research associate or other researcher responsible for the design, conduct or reporting of the research or other educational activity proposed for funding. The IACUC may establish policies regarding eligibility criteria for faculty who are allowed to be principal investigators.
Section II. Authority and Responsibility for Ensuring Compliance
- Institutional Official
The Vice President for Research is the Institutional Official responsible for ensuring that activities using animals at the University are humane and in compliance with all applicable external regulations. To achieve that end, he or she is responsible for establishing and enforcing relevant University policies and procedures.
- Ensuring the safety of all research faculty and staff utilizing animals in research and teaching activities;
- Ensuring ongoing compliance with state and federal law;
- Ensuring the authority of the IACUC;
- Ensuring the IACUC has sufficient resources for conducting the activities under its jurisdiction;
- Ensuring that the number and experience of the IACUC members is adequate to address the volume and types of research and other scholarly activities so that reviews are accomplished in a thorough and timely manner; and
- Conducting periodic reviews of the IACUC and IACUC activities.
In order to complete these responsibilities, the Institutional Official is granted the following authorities (list may not be inclusive):
- To establish, appoint members to or modify the IACUC;
- To require establishment and implementation of policies and procedures by the IACUC governing the use of animals in research and teaching;
- To grant authority to the IACUC to review and oversee research or teaching activities that include the use of vertebrate animals;
- To provide resources, including budgetary authority, for the IACUC;
- To suspend or terminate research or teaching activities that have been approved by the IACUC;
- To provide access to legal counsel on behalf of the IACUC; and
- To place administrative sanctions on investigators for non-compliance with federal, state or local regulations, guidelines, policies or procedures.
- Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee
The Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee reports to the Vice President for Research. The IACUC is responsible for the general oversight, evaluation, and assurance of compliance of the University’s animal care and use program. In order to complete these responsibilities, the Institutional Official grants the IACUC with the following authorities (list may not be inclusive):
- Review at least once every six months the University’s program for humane care and use of animals, using the “Guide” (see § I.B., above) as a basis for evaluation.
- Inspect at least once every six months all of the University’s animal facilities, including satellite facilities, using the “Guide” as a basis for evaluation.
- Prepare reports of the IACUC evaluations and submit the reports to the Institutional Official.
- Review concerns involving the care and use of animals at the University.
- Make written recommendations to the Institutional Official 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 the use of animals in ongoing activities related to the care and use of animals.
- Notify investigators and the University (via the Institutional Official) 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.
- 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 review at least once every three years.
- Suspend an activity involving animals if deemed necessary.
- Attending Veterinarian
The Attending Veterinarian has specific oversight authority for all activities involving animals used for teaching or research activities at the University. He or she is also the Director of the Animal Resources Center (ARC) and serves as a voting member of the IACUC. Investigators are encouraged to call upon the Attending Veterinarian or other ARC staff for guidance in protocol development and consultation on experimental procedures.
- Animal Resources Center (ARC)
The Animal Resources Center is responsible for:
- the procurement of laboratory animals;
- providing housing and care of research animals in the centrally-managed facilities;
- providing and maintaining specialized facilities for animal research, such as surgery suites;
- overseeing transportation of laboratory animals onto or off of the campus, or from site to site on the campus; and
- providing veterinary services for research animals and veterinary consultation for investigators.
- Investigator Responsibilities
Although institutional policies are designed to provide the IACUC and the Institutional Official (and his or her designee(s)) the necessary resources to assure compliance, a significant burden of responsibility also rests with the Investigator. Not only is the Investigator charged with completing necessary and appropriate forms for submission in accordance with the requirements of the funding agency, but he or she also must assure the project is performed in accordance with the IACUC-approved protocol. It is also the Investigator's responsibility to ensure that IACUC approvals have been obtained, annual updates to the IACUC have been submitted, and any significant changes to the protocol have been approved by the IACUC prior to implementation. The principal investigator on each grant or contract should insure that all researchers on the project are aware of and comply with this policy.
Investigators using animals must comply with the following:
- Investigators must file an Animal Utilization Proposal (AUP) form (available on the Office of Research Support website, http://www.utexas.edu/research/rsc/iacuc/forms.html) with the IACUC for prospective review and approval of all activities involving the use of teaching and research animals. Such uses include pilot projects and preliminary studies, whether or not they are part of a sponsored project. Approval is granted for up to three years, and protocols must be updated at least annually and whenever a significant change occurs.
- Proposals for funding that include animal use must be prepared in accordance with the requirements of the funding agency, and funded projects must be performed in accordance with both the funded proposal and the associated IACUC-approved animal use protocol.
- All locations used to hold, house, or perform research or teaching activities using animals must be reported to the IACUC.
- No animals can be purchased or otherwise acquired without having an IACUC-approved protocol.
- No animals can be sold, transferred, donated, or otherwise removed from the University without notification and approval of the IACUC and the Attending Veterinarian.
- Investigators must take responsibility for the appropriate training of their research staff in the humane care and use of animals, ensuring that they are qualified to perform their duties, and that they understand their obligations to comply with all relevant regulations and the specifics of the approved protocol. Documentation of this training may be requested by regulatory and accrediting agencies and by the IACUC.
- Investigators must be aware that federal regulatory agencies, including the Public Health Service (PHS) and the United States Department of Agriculture/Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA/APHIS), have specific requirements when animal use takes place off campus as a consequence of a sub grant or subcontract (including the use of animals in antibody production). Proof of an approved PHS Animal Welfare Assurance must be provided to the IACUC whenever PHS supported animal use activities are performed by an off-campus entity. In addition, when certain species are utilized at an off-campus site, that entity must be registered with the USDA and proof of that registration may be required by the IACUC (contact the Office of Research Support at (512) 471-8871 for more information.)
- Animals may not be housed for more than 12 hours outside designated housing areas without the prior review and approval of the IACUC. The IACUC will review any new housing requests in consultation with the Attending Veterinarian.
- All survival surgical procedures on non-rodent mammalian species must be performed in designated surgical suites approved by the IACUC in consultation with the Attending Veterinarian.
- Use of Animals in Teaching
It is the policy of the University that the use of live or dead vertebrate animals for solely instructional purposes is permitted when:
- The responsible instructor judges that the educational goals of the program or course will be best achieved by such usage, and
- The IACUC evaluates the animal use protocol and determines that such usage is humane, proper, appropriate, and consistent with government principles and regulations for the utilization and care of animals used in teaching and research. Only the minimum number of animals essential to instructional objectives should be used. Instructors should be encouraged to use alternatives to animals whenever possible.
Section III. Miscellaneous
- Reporting Suspected Noncompliance
Any person may contact (anonymously, if he or she wishes) the Director of the Animal Resources Center (512) 471-7534, the Director of Research Support (512) 471-8871, or the IACUC Chairperson if there are concerns regarding the humane care and use of animals at the University.
University Compliance Services may also be used. See details regarding reporting options at http://www.utexas.edu/compliance/, including a toll-free, anonymous help line at 1 (877) 507-7321.
Anyone reporting concerns may not be retaliated against for a good-faith report of suspected wrongdoing.
All such concerns will be referred to the IACUC for review and inquiry. If warranted, an investigation will be conducted to determine if corrective action is appropriate.
- Retaliation Prohibited
A student, faculty, or staff member who retaliates in any way against an individual who has brought a complaint pursuant to this policy or participated in an investigation of such a complaint, is subject to disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal from the University.
- Filing of False Complaints
Any person who knowingly and intentionally files a false complaint under this policy is subject to disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal from the University.
- Media or Public Inquiries
Members of the media or the public may contact the University to make inquiries about the conduct of research or teaching involving animals. All such inquiries are to be directed to the Office of the Vice President for Research at (512) 471-2877 after which that Office will determine the appropriate office for response.
For Assistance: If you have questions regarding this policy, you may contact either the Director of the Office of Research Support (512) 471-8871 or the Director of the Animal Resources Center (512) 471-7534.
“Animal Welfare Act of 1966,” as amended (7 USC, 2131-2156).
“Animal Welfare Regulations,” U.S. Department of Agriculture, 9 C.F.R. Subchapter A. Health Research Extension Act of 1985, Public Law 99-158, “Animals in Research.”
“U.S. Government Principles for the Utilization and Care of Vertebrate Animals Used in Testing, Research and Training,” Office of Science and Technology Policy, 1985.
“Policy on Humane Care and Use of Laboratory Animals,” U.S. Public Health Service, revised and reprinted 2002.
“Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals,” Institute of Laboratory Animal Resources, National Research Council, 1996.
Previously HOP 11.B.3