Institutional Animal Care & Use Policy
Committee Excerpts from the Policies & Procedures Currently Under Review
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Statement of Policy
The use of animal subjects in scientific and educational activities is governed by professional standards of ethical conduct as well as by Federal and State regulations which reflect the general concerns of society.
New York State Law mandated the establishment of an institutional animal care committee which shall be responsible for evaluating the care of all animals held for research, teaching, or other activities by the State University of New York or by other resources under college auspices. An animal care committee is required also by National Institute of Health policy and recommended by the Animal Welfare Act and the American Association for Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care. The National Institute of Health requires review of research protocols by the institutional animal care committee prior to submission of a grant application.
SUNY Plattsburgh is committed to humane care of laboratory animals in carrying out its research and training activities. To insure that its concern be implemented and, further, to insure its compliance with professional, State and Federal regulations and requirements for animal use, it has established an Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) to be responsible for development and implementation of policies and procedures which will allow the college to fulfill these responsibilities and commitments.
Charge to the Committee
The IACUC shall serve as the advocate for the welfare of the animal subjects under study at this institution while representing and protecting the interests of the respective investigators and educators who use animals at this college.
The charge to this committee is to develop policies and procedures for the college faculty and staff for:
- The review and approval of the use of animals in scientific and educational activities, the advisement of investigators on the humane treatment and proper care of laboratory animals.
- The assurance of compliance with established policies, procedures and regulations and the review over time of experiments in progress.
- The review of qualifications of research personnel and the provision of educational and training programs.
- The review of the availability and conditions of physical facilities and the implementation of a program of periodic laboratory inspections.
- The review of justifications of anticipated animal suffering and the provision of recommendations pursuant to such review.
- Promulgation of current rules and regulations and changes thereof.
- The development of a communication system to respond to concerns and activities of animal welfare groups.
- Consultation and advice on animal care and use in the laboratory as requested by investigators.
- Maintenance of required records as established NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts.
- Submission of required reports as established by NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts.
Structure of the Committee
The committee will meet at least once each quarter of the calendar year to fulfill its responsibilities. Specific functions will be carried out by one of four subcommittees to be appointed by the chairperson of the IACUC. These subcommittees are:
- Policy and Procedure Subcommittee
- Animal Room Care Supervisory Subcommittee
- Public Relations Subcommittee
Authority of the Committee
The Full IACUC Committee - evaluates applications for use of animal in research and teaching under categories D and E of Biomedical Experiments and review annual updating of animal use applications submitted by investigators for humane care and treatment according to procedures listed below and the ethical guidelines listed above.
The committee is empowered to make on-site inspections and recommend suspension of any project using animals operating within the institution. In addition, the IACUC, through its chairperson, has the authority to take action during emergency situations in order to promptly rectify unacceptable conditions.
The committee has the authority to review and approve or disapprove all projects involving the use of animals in research or education. The chairperson has the responsibility to assign and make recommendations on matters of committee business to the appropriate subcommittees. The chairperson also has the authority to act as spokesperson for the IACUC.
In order to expedite the appropriate review and approval for animal use, each individual contemplating initiation of a project involving animals must adhere to the following:
- The principal investigator should contact the animal room supervisor to discuss plans for the physical requirements of the project as early as possible in the planning stage of the project and prior to the use of any animals in research or training.
- The principal investigator will complete and sign the form "Application for Use of Laboratory Animals in Research and Training" and will have the opportunity to meet with the committee and to nominate additionally two people to act as ad hoc consultants. (Applications are available through Sponsored Research Program.)
- The principal investigator will also provide a description of personnel training or experience relative to animal experimentation along with the background of the responsible investigator in animal experimentation. Documents listed in 2 and 3 above are to be submitted to the Office of Sponsored Research and Programs.
- The principal investigator must submit a brief update of the research or teaching protocol to the IACUC on a semi-annual basis. This report shall describe any major changes in the protocol such as change of species, change of anesthetic, or new surgical procedures. If there are no major protocol changes, a statement shall be made to that effect. This report must be submitted in accordance with the IACUC deadline for continuing use application.
- he principal investigator, educator or course leader will provide instruction to his technical staff and/or students regarding specific techniques for the animal project and the aspects of humane care and treatment pertaining to that project, and insure that all technical personnel are familiar with those sections of the NIH Guide that pertain to techniques being employed (the project director can obtain assistance in these matters from the Animal Room Care Subcommittee).
- The principal investigator has the option to appeal any decision by the IACUC regarding animal use to the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs. It is recommended that decisions regarding an appeal be made promptly, e.g. within thirty (30) days of submission of an appeal. Individuals with expertise on the subject or an outside consultant may be called to aid in the appeal decision. For example, the proposal might be sent to an animal care committee at another University for review.
For a complete copy of the Policies and Procedures of the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee contact the Office of Sponsored Research and Programs, Kehoe 815.