Office of the President

Animal Welfare Policy; Replaces EM 91-015; Revised by EM 09-006

Executive Memorandum 93-001 January 27, 1993

From: Robin S. Wilson, PresidentSubject: Animal Welfare Policy; Replaces EM 91-015; Revised by EM 09-006


The attached policy replaces EM 91-015, the Interim Animal Welfare Policy, and brings the University into compliance with federal regulations. This policy has been reviewed by the Animal Care and Use Committee and the Research and Grant Development council. Upon recommendation of the Provost, I approve it for immediate implementation.

California State University, Chico establishes the following policy governing the humane care and use of animals in instruction and research. This policy complies with federal regulations, including those of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), dated August 31, 1989, which implement the Animal Welfare Act, and those of the Public Health Service (PHS), dated September 1986, which implement the requirements of the Health Research Extension Act of 1985. In most cases, the University will follow USDA regulations which apply most generally to the use of animals on campus. PHS regulations will be used primarily when PHS funds are involved in a research project using covered 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, conducted at this University or at another institution as a consequence of our subgranting or subcontracting externally conducted or supported activity.

In order to ensure continuing compliance with all federal and state rules and regulations governing the care and use of animals in research and education, this policy authorizes the University's Animal Care and Use committee (ACUC) to amend or modify existing policies and procedures or to develop new policies and procedures in accordance with all new requirements promulgated by the federal and state government concerning animal welfare.

The University will require semi-annual reports to the animal Care and Use Committee from any college or other campus unit where animals, defined as covered species by this policy or designated in the future by the ACUC, 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 ACUC 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.

Institutional Policy

California State University, Chico, will comply with all applicable provisions of the Animal Welfare Act and other federal statutes and regulations relating to animals. As stated above, ACUC is authorized to modify or amend existing policies and procedures or to develop new policies and procedures to ensure compliance with changing federal and state requirements

  • The University will use U.S. Department of Agriculture guidelines, regulations as the minimum set of standards in defining and determining what is research and education involving animals; which research and educational activities are exempt from coverage; safeguards and restrictions to enforce for protection of animals in research and education: and which processes and procedures to use in regulating the care and use of animals in research. Exceptions to this approach may be made by ACUC as required and considered appropriate as in cases in which funded research necessitates the use of other regulations such as those required by PHS.
  • Currently the University adheres to the policies and procedures set forth in 9 CFR Parts, 1, 2, and 3 and 3 Animal Welfare; Final Rules, August 31, 1989, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Animal Plant and Inspection Service.

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 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.

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:

The University Animal Care and Use Committee shall act as the inspection/enforcement arm of the animal care and use program while the administration, through the institutional official, shall be responsible for implementing the programs and facilities improvements recommended by ACUC. The Dean of the Graduate School/Vice Provost for Research shall serve as the institutional official.

The University has established ACUC, which is qualified through the experience and expertise of its members, to oversee the University's animal program, facilities, and procedures. ACUC will consist of at least five members, and its membership will meet the compositional requirements set forth in USDA policy.

ACUC shall be appointed and the chair named by the President of the University. The committee shall consist of at least five members including

  • One representative from each department using animals for research or teaching, qualified by training and experience to judge the appropriateness of animal use in experimentation and teaching
  • 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 and who is not a member of the committee and who is not a member of the immediate family of a person who is affiliated with the University
  • A representative of the institutional official from the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs.

ACUC will

  • Review at least once every six months the University's program for humane care and use of animals, using USDA regulations as a basis for evaluation
  • Inspect at least once every six months all the University's animal facilities, including satellite facilities, using USDA regulations as a basis for evaluation
  • Prepare reports of ACUC evaluations every six months as set forth in USDA regulations and submit the reports to the institutional official, including provisions for minority views in the report
  • 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 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 USDA 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 USDA regulations
  • 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 ACUC approval as set forth in USDA regulations
  • Be authorized to suspend any activity involving laboratory animals as set forth in USDA regulations
  • 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 ACUC and reviewed at a regularly scheduled meeting. Approval, with any modifications considered appropriate by ACUC, may be granted when the majority of a quorum present so vote to give approval. An ACUC member may not vote on protocols or issues in which that member has a conflict of interest.

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

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

ACUC is authorized to suspend any activity involving laboratory animals as set forth in USDA 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 ACUC's determination by a minority 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 ACUC determines, in conjunction with the institutional official, whether appropriate actin 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 USDA. This determination will be made by a quorum of the committee 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 ACUC 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 committee's decision.
  • If an ongoing animal use activity which has not been reviewed and approved by the committee 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 ACUC 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 which 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 oxide 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 with 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 years

  • A copy of this policy and its modification
  • Minutes of ACUC 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 ACUC approval was given or withheld
  • Records of semiannual ACUC 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 ACUC 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 Office of Research and Sponsored Programs will be the central administrative recordkeeping office responsible for housing ACUC records according to federal regulations.

The ACUC, through the institutional official, will report in writing to appropriate federal or state representatives as required by law and regulations.