Animal Welfare Policy; Revises EM 93-001

Executive Memorandum 09-006

June 09, 2009

From: Paul J. Zingg, President

Subject: Animal Welfare Policy; Revises EM 93-001

ANIMAL WELFARE POLICY

Policy

California State University, Chico, will comply with all applicable provisions of the relevant federal and state statutes and regulations governing the humane care and use of animals in instruction, research and related activities. The University will primarily follow the U.S. Public Health Service Policy on Humane Care and Use of Laboratory Animals.

This policy is applicable to all research, training, teaching, experimentation, biological testing, and related activities, involving live, vertebrate animals covered by law or regulation, unless otherwise exempted, conducted at this University, on or off campus, in the laboratory, classroom or field, or at another institution as a consequence of our subgranting or subcontracting an externally conducted or supported activity.

Circumstances may arise in which dead vertebrate animals or live non-vertebrate animals are used, and special laws and regulations apply. The University expects its employees and students follow such laws and regulations where appropriate. The University Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) may review protocols and issue procedural guidelines for meeting the laws and regulations in such circumstances.

Implementation

In order to ensure compliance with federal and state rules and regulations governing the care and use of animals in research and education, the University has established the University Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC). The IACUC is qualified through the experience and expertise of its members to oversee the University's animal program, facilities, and procedures.

IACUC will consist of at least five members, appointed by, and the chair named by the President of the University. Membership will be for a three-year term, Membership will meet the compositional requirements set forth in U.S. Public Health Service policy. IACUC shall be Members shall include:

  • At least one to three faculty representatives from departments using animals for research or teaching. These shall be qualified by training and experience to judge the appropriateness of animal use in experimentation and teaching. (Each department using animals for research or teaching may nominate a member for the IACUC.)
  • One Doctor of Veterinary Medicine with training or experience in laboratory animal science and medicine, who has direct or delegated responsibility for activities involving animals at the University
  • One institutional member whose primary concerns are in a non-scientific area
  • One individual who is not affiliated with the University in any way other than as a member of the committee
  • A representative of the Institutional Official from the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs

In order to maintain compliance with federal and state rules and regulations governing the care and use of animals in research and education, this policy authorizes the IACUC to amend or modify existing policies and procedures or to develop new policies and procedures in accordance with new requirements promulgated by the federal and state governments concerning animal welfare.

The University will require semi-annual reports to the IACUC from any college or other campus unit where animals, defined as covered species by this policy or designated so in the future by the IACUC, are being housed, used, or held for future research, teaching, testing, experimentation, or exhibition purposes or as a pet. The information to be included in these reports shall include the following:

  • Number and species of animals
  • Location and description of facilities where animals are housed
  • Verification that these facilities are sanitary
  • Verification that animals are fed, watered, and provided with proper ventilation
  • Verification that animals are observed on a regular basis and that they are healthy
  • Verification that animals are provided adequate veterinary care
  • Verification that animals' pain and distress are minimized and that alternatives to painful procedures are considered
  • Notification to IACUC at any time if any of these conditions change or if these animals are being housed, used, and cared for in any way which is not in compliance with prevailing governmental regulations

The University acknowledges and accepts responsibility for the care and use of animals involved in activities covered by this policy. As partial fulfillment of this responsibility, the University will make a reasonable effort to ensure that all individuals involved in the care and use of laboratory animals and other animals used for research and education understand their individual and collective responsibilities for compliance with this policy as well as all other applicable laws and regulations pertaining to animal care and use. Procedures for administering this policy are in the Appendix along with a listing of relevant state and federal policies and regulations.

Appendix

Institutional Program for Animal Care and Use

The lines of authority and responsibility for administering the program and ensuring compliance with this policy are as follows:

IACUC will

  • Review at least once every six months the University's program for humane care and use of animals, using U.S. Public Health Service (or other, as appropriate to the circumstances,) regulations and guidelines as a basis for evaluation
  • Inspect at least once every six months all the University's animal facilities, including satellite facilities, using U.S. Public Health Service (or other, as appropriate to the circumstances) regulations and guidelines as a basis for evaluation
  • Prepare reports of IACUC evaluations every six months as set forth in U.S. Public Health Service regulations and submit the reports to the Institutional Official, including provisions for minority views in the report
  • Review and investigate concerns (for example complaints, deficiencies found and reported) 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 programs, facilities, or personnel training
  • Review and approve or require modifications in (to secure approval of) or withhold approval of those activities related to the care and use of animals as set forth in U. S. Public Health Service, (or other, as appropriate to the circumstances) regulations
  • Review and approve or require modifications in (to secure approval of) or withhold approval of proposed significant changes regarding the use of animals in ongoing activities as set forth in U.S. Public Health Service  (or other, as appropriate to the circumstances) regulations and guidelines
  • Notify in writing investigators and the University of its decision to approve or withhold approval of those activities related to the care and use of animals or of modification required to secure IACUC approval as set forth in U.S. Public Health Service (or other, as appropriate to the circumstances) regulations and guidelines
  • Be authorized to suspend any activity involving laboratory animals as set forth in U. S. Public Health Service (or other, as appropriate to the circumstances) regulations and guidelines
  • Review and investigate concerns involving the care and use of animals resulting from public complaints received and from reports of noncompliance received from University personnel

Approval and Suspension of Activities Approval of the care and use of animals will be based upon protocols submitted to IACUC and reviewed at a regularly scheduled meeting. Approval, with any modifications considered appropriate by IACUC, may be granted when the majority of a quorum present so vote to give approval. An IACUC member may not vote on protocols or issues in which that member has a conflict of interest.  The format and content required for a protocol will be set by the IACUC and modified periodically as determined by the IACUC.

IACUC will notify principal investigators and other appropriate parties in writing of its decision to approve or withhold approval of activities involving animal care and use. If IACUC withholds approval, the written notice will contain an explanation of the reasons for doing so.

IACUC will conduct continuing reviews of ongoing activities at appropriate intervals but at least once annually.

IACUC is authorized to suspend any activity involving laboratory animals as set forth in U.S. Public Health (or other, as appropriate to the circumstances,) regulations. Procedures for suspending an activity involving the use of animals follow.

  • The procedure for suspending a previously approved activity is
    • The principal investigator (PI/educator) is notified in writing of IACUC's determination by a majority vote of the quorum present that significant departures from the approved protocol exist. Specific deviations are cited and the PI/educator is instructed to adhere to the approved protocol until such time as an application for revision of the approved protocol has been submitted and approved. A copy of this letter is sent to the Institutional Official and other appropriate administrators.
    • A follow-up inspection is scheduled at which IACUC determines, in conjunction with the Institutional Official, whether appropriate action or satisfactory progress has been made by the PI/educator in correcting the cited deficiencies.
    • If results of the follow-up inspection are unsatisfactory, the report will recommend appropriate action ranging from extension of the schedule for correcting the deficiencies to suspension of the activity at once with notification made to the funding agency and U.S. Public Health Service as required by law or regulation. This determination will be made by a quorum of the IACUC and will include consideration to the effect the deficiencies have on the welfare of the animals.
    • The PI/educator and the Institutional Official are notified in writing of the committee's decision and the deadline by which appeals may be made before the action is instituted.
    • An appeals hearing may be requested by the PI/educator prior to the deadline by contacting the IACUC chair in writing. Such a hearing will require a quorum required to change the previous action. The PI/educator, the Institutional Official, and other appropriate administrators will be notified in writing of the IACUC's decision.
  • If an ongoing animal use activity which has not been reviewed and approved by the IACUC is discovered, the project will be suspended immediately.

All additional procedures required to implement this and future policy on animal care and use will be developed and promulgated under the authority of IACUC with the approval of the Institutional Official and the President.

Personnel Health, Training, and Qualifications

Personnel who work in laboratory animal facilities or have frequent contact with animals will follow a certain health program.

  • Each investigator/educator is responsible for issuing written guidelines for students and student workshops involved with the use and care of animals. These guidelines include:
    • Identifying possible hazards associated with handling the animal species involved in the project or course
    • The procedures to be followed in the event of an animal-related injury and the importance of reporting such injuries immediately to the appropriate supervisor
    • The availability of student health care through the student health center on campus
    • Requiring rabies pre-immunization for any student handling any rabies suspect
  • Faculty and staff having significant contact with laboratory animals adhere to the following occupational health program:
    • All individuals in contact with animals are made aware of possible dangers of disease transmission between animals and humans and the basic precautions that should be followed. This health education program emphasizes the importance of personal hygiene and tetanus immunization. In addition, individuals who have frequent contact with animals are encouraged to have annual physical examinations and appropriate immunization (e.g., tetanus toxoid booster, rabies immunization, etc. ).
    • For on-the-job animal-related injuries, University employees should seek appropriate medical attention, filing Worker's Compensation (not personal insurance) with the medical agency rendering treatment. The employee and his or her supervisor will file accident reports wit the appropriate university offices.

Each unit of the University using animals for teaching or research purposes is responsible for insuring that personnel are qualified in the following areas:

  • Humane methods of animal maintenance and experimentation including
    • Providing basic needs of each species of animal used
    • Proper handling and care of each species of animals used
    • Proper pre-procedural and post-procedural care of animals
    • Aseptic surgical methods and procedures
  • The concept, availability, and use of research or testing methods that limit the use of animals or minimize animal distress
  • Proper use of anesthetics, analgesics, and tranquilizers for each species of animal used
  • Methods whereby deficiencies in animal care and treatment are reported

Recordkeeping and Reporting Requirements

The University will maintain for at least three year:

  • A copy of the current policies and modifications, thereof
  • Minutes of IACUC meetings, including records of attendance, activities of the committee, and committee deliberations
  • Records of applications, protocols, and proposed significant changes in the care and use of animals and whether IACUC approval was given or withheld
  • Records of semiannual IACUC reports and recommendations as forwarded to the Institutional Official

The University will maintain records that relate directly to applications, protocols, and proposed changes in ongoing activities reviewed and approved by IACUC for the duration of the activity and for an additional three years after completion of the activity.

All records shall be accessible for inspection and copying by authorized federal or state representatives or other required agencies at reasonable times and in a reasonable manner.

The Vice Provost for Research will be responsible for centralized record keeping and housing IACUC records according to federal regulations.

The IACUC, through the Institutional Official, will report in writing to appropriate federal or state representatives as required by law and regulations.

Related U.S. and California Policies

U.S. Public Health Service Policy on Humane Care and Use of Laboratory Animals
Animal Welfare Act, as amended (Public Law 99-158)
National Institutes of Health (NIH) Guide to the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals (1996)
U.S. Government Principles for the Utilization and Care of Vertebrate Animals Used in Testing, Research and Training
AVMA Guidelines on Euthanasia (2007)

Links to Other current regulations, guidelines and resources can be found at the Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare. (The Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare oversees implementation and compliance with the Public Health Service Policy, laws and regulations concerning animal welfare.)

Researchers and instructors must be aware of, and follow regulations and guidelines for field research and/or the use, study and capture or collection of wild animals. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is the federal agency charged with enforcing the Endangered Species Act (Act) and the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species.  Institutions that seek to use such species covered by the Act must obtain a permit from the Federal Wildlife Permit Office. If an institution wishes to import an endangered or threatened species, appropriate export and import documents must be obtained in advance as required by the Convention.

The California Department of Fish and Game administers state laws regulating the importation, quarantine and housing of non-indigenous wildlife species and the collection and use of California native species (California Administrative Code Title 14, Sections 671-671.4).  Institutions seeking to import restricted or prohibited species for research must obtain the appropriate permits through the Animal Welfare section of the Department of Fish and Game.