Ethical Care & Use of Animals in Research

Report of the IRB, 1998

Research involving the use of non human animals must ensure their ethical and sensitive care and must be undertaken with a clear articulated scientific purpose. Researchers who are involved in animal research must be familiar with the Federal Regulations and guidelines set forth by the U.S. Department of Agriculture Animal Welfare Standards document (Federal Register, 1991, February 15), policies set forth by the Public Health Service as well as state and local ordinances involving the appropriate and humane treatment of non human animals.

All protocols for research using non human animals must be reviewed by an appropriate animal care committee such as an institutional animal care and use committee (IACUC) to ensure that the procedures outlined are in accordance with the federal regulations set forth by the U.S. Department of Agriculture as well as State and local ordinances regarding the humane treatment of animals. Since the University of Puget Sound does not have its own IACUC, individuals who are interested conducting research with animals must locate an institution that has such a board or review process and establish a collaborative relationship with an individual or group from that institution. Once appropriate collaboration has been established, the researcher from Puget Sound must submit his or her research protocol as a co-investigator to the research collaborator's animal care and use committee or review board. It will then be the responsibility of the researcher and that board to ensure that the procedures for use, care and housing of the animals are followed appropriately.

Any institution with a formal mechanism for reviewing and monitoring the use of non human animals for research purposes can be contacted for potential collaboration. It is the responsibility of the researcher from the University of Puget Sound to locate an institution, to establish a collaborative relationship with an individual or group there and have approval by the collaborator's institution's IACUC before commencing research activity including caring for animals.

Faculty members who use non human animals in their courses for teaching or classroom demonstrations may or may not need to follow the procedures regarding collaboration and IACUC approval depending on the nature of the activity. It is the responsibility of those faculty members to be familiar with the federal, State and local guidelines so as to be aware of activities which may require a formal review process. These faculty members should also be familiar with and abide by the specific policies concerning the use of animals in their particular discipline such as the "Guidelines for Ethical Conduct in the Care and Use of Animals" published by the American Psychological Association.

As of the writing of this document, IACUC approval is not needed for birds, rats of the genus rattus, and mice of the genus mus. Exempt or not, all institutional use of non human animals must ensure their ethical and sensitive use.

References

  • U.S. Department of Agriculture. (1991, February 15). Animal welfare; Standards; Final rule. Federal Register.
  • American Psychological Association. (1998?). Guidelines for Ethical Conduct in the Care and Use of Animals.