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Use of Laboratory Animals in Research, Teaching, and Testing

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Approved September 21, 2005
Supplements System Regulation 15.99.99


1.1. It is The Texas A&M University System Health Science Center (HSC) standard that all faculty, staff, visiting scholars and students comply with the applicable provisions of the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) Animal Welfare Act, the Public Health Service (PHS) Institutional Assurance of Compliance Policy on Humane Care and Use of Laboratory Animals, the PHS Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare (OLAW), other Federal and State statutes, local regulations, and all other HSC policies and procedures relating to laboratory animals (living or dead). Failure to comply may result in a suspension of privileges to use laboratory animals in research, teaching and testing activities.

1.2. All animals used in research, teaching, and testing, regardless of the funding sources, shall be provided humane care and treatment. Compliance will be assured by comprehensive review of all projects by an approved Institutional Animal Use and Care Committee (IACUC).

1.3. The Vice President for Research and Graduate Studies (VPRGS) has been designated by the President as the Institutional Official and has been delegated the responsibility of assuring compliance with animal care regulations and rules, the development and maintenance of institutional records, and submission of reports relating to the use and care of laboratory animals within the HSC.

1.4. Each individual project involving laboratory animals must be fully reviewed and approved by an IACUC prior to its initiation, and before any animals may be acquired, housed, or used for research, teaching, and testing by HSC faculty, students, and staff.


2.1. The Animal Welfare Assurance Statement of the Texas A&M University System Health Science Center is on file with the PHS OLAW indicating that the institution is committed to humane animal care and is maintained in accordance with federal regulations. This statement is applicable to all PHS-supported research, research training, experimentation, biological testing, teaching, and related activities involving live vertebrate animals owned by the HSC.

2.2. The HSC Animal Welfare Assurance of Compliance also applies to other institutions as a consequence of the sub-granting or subcontracting of an activity by the HSC.


3.1. The Institutional Official shall establish one or more IACUC to oversee all aspects of the use and care of laboratory animals by faculty, staff, and students operating within the HSC. Each HSC IACUC shall report to the Institutional Official.

3.2. Each IACUC shall be appointed, structured, and shall perform duties and functions as set forth in the following documents or other applicable documents promulgated by the Federal Government.

3.2.1. The Animal Welfare Act (89-544) and amendments [http://www.aphis.usda.gov/ac/publications.html]

3.2.2. Public Health Service Policy on Humane Care and Use of Laboratory Animals (National Institutes of Health) [http://grants.nih.gov/grants/olaw/references/phspol.htm]

3.2.3. Health Research Extension Act of 1985 [http://grants.nih.gov/grants/olaw/references/hrea1985.htm]

3.2.4. U.S. Government Principles for the Utilization and Care of Vertebrate Animals Used in Testing, Research, and Training

3.2.5. The Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals [http://www.nap.edu/readingroom/books/labrats/]

3.3. Each IACUC shall review, approve, and provide guidance on the procurement, housing, humane and appropriate care, use and proper disposition of laboratory animals at the relevant HSC campuses.

3.4. It is the responsibility of the IACUC to ensure that all scientists and other personnel involved in animal care, treatment, and use are qualified through training and instruction.

3.5. Each IACUC shall carry out all of those duties specifically assigned to it in government regulations and policies. In addition to duties mandated in government regulations and policies, each HSC IACUC shall review all aspects of the animal use programs, including short-term and long-term goals, and regulations and procedures pertaining to animal care and use in research and teaching.

3.6. The Institutional Official may establish interinstitutional agreements with appropriate institutions that have an approved and current federal Animal Welfare Assurance for management of compliance related to the use and care of laboratory animals.

3.6.1. The IACUC or equivalent from the affiliated institution shall review and approve all research protocols involving the use and care of animals in research and teaching as described within the boundaries of the institutional agreement.

3.6.2. The Institutional Official of the affiliated institution shall be responsible for all appropriate compliance reports to local, State, and Federal agencies covering laboratory animals as described within the boundaries of the institutional agreement.

3.6.3. The Institutional Official of the affiliated institution shall promptly report any problems and concerns about the use and care of laboratory animals by HSC faculty to the HSC Institutional Official.


4.1. Principal investigators, department heads, and the component dean or designate are responsible for assuring that animal research is appropriately reviewed and approved prior to initiation of any work.

4.2. Regardless of funding sources, research protocols involving the use of animals in teaching and research must be prepared by the principal investigator and must be reviewed and approved by the appropriate IACUC or equivalent review committee.

4.2.1. Written approval must be obtained from the IACUC or equivalent review committee prior to making changes in the research protocol or placing orders to obtain animals.

4.2.2. If research is collaborative or involves other institutions, approval must be obtained from each institution.

4.3. Principal Investigators must take responsibility for the appropriate training of their research staff in the humane care and use of laboratory 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 or by the HSC.


5.1. Each IACUC must include a qualified veterinarian.

5.2. The veterinarian shall advise the animal facility managers, animal users, and administrators on current standards for the care and use of animals in teaching, testing and research programs, and shall serve as the attending veterinarian of record under the Federal Animal Welfare Act. In this capacity, the veterinarian serves as a voting member of the IACUC and shall coordinate campus programs for adequate veterinary care for research testing and teaching animals via consultation with campus units that provide veterinary care.


6.1. Vertebrate animals that are not owned by the HSC may not be used without prior approval of the relevant review committee. In addition to on-campus activity, this compliance requirement includes but is not limited to animal research, teaching, and testing, conducted:

6.1.1. In the field by faculty, students, or staff;

6.1.2. By HSC graduate students at other institutions as part of the completion of a degree;

6.1.3. At another institution as part of a joint contract with HSC faculty;

6.1.4. Off campus activities involving an HSC student as part of completion of a HSC course; and

6.1.5. In the teaching of HSC courses.

6.1.6. In product testing.

Office of Responsibility
Vice President for Research