CWU POLICIES AND PROCEDURES FOR THE CARE AND USE OF ANIMALS
A. Central Washington University and the Public Health Service (PHS) Assurance
- Each institution that receives PHS support for activities involving vertebrate animals or is subject to the authority of the Animal Welfare Act (AWA) must operate an animal care and use program with clear lines of authority and responsibility. Institutions such as Central Washington University prepare a PHS Institutional Animal Welfare Assurance (Assurance) as evidence of their commitment to comply with the federal regulations for the care and use of animals. In addition, the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) requires registration of facilities.
- Central Washington University has prepared an Assurance, which will be submitted to PHS on request.
- As part of its Assurance, Central Washington University has established an Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC). The IACUC is mandated by and derives its authority from the Health Research Extension Act (HREA) of 1985 and the AWA.
- The IACUC is a Presidential Committee charged with the institutional oversight of animals and animal care personnel involved in research and teaching. The major purpose of the IACUC is to certify the frugal use of animals and to minimize discomfort or pain in animals, guided by the scientific and educational relevance to human or animal health, advancement of knowledge, and societal benefits. When discharging its oversight mission, IACUC will be engaged in a constructive way to ensure that all institutional personnel are in compliance with approved protocols and applicable guidelines for the humane care and use of animals.
B. Implications for CWU Policy and Procedures
As an institution that accepts public support for its operation, Central Washington University has a legal as well as ethical obligation to develop and implement appropriate procedures for the care and use of animal in teaching laboratories and university-endorsed studies. Furthermore, the University's Assurance obligates the institution to comply with specific federal regulations. The current CWU animal care and use policy was developed in recognition of the institution's legal and ethical responsibilities to animal welfare.
C. University Policy for the Care and Use of Animals
The Central Washington University policy manual currently contains the following set of policies for the care and use of animals:
2 - 2.37 Use of Animals in Research and Teaching (PAC 1/18/06 )
It is the policy of Central Washington University to provide the best possible care for animals used in research or teaching, thereby meeting or exceeding accepted guidelines and all applicable federal, state, and local legislation. The university follows the guidelines established by the Public Health Service in its publications, Public Health Service Policy on Humane Care and Use of Laboratory Animals and The Guide for Care and Use of Laboratory Animals. The latest editions of these publications are available at the Office of Graduate Studies, Research and Continuing Education (Barge 305). All university employees and students are responsible for adherence to this policy. All animals owned or cared for by the university are covered by this policy. All research conducted by CWU faculty and students involving animals, whether it occurs on campus or off, must follow the guidelines established in this document.
2-2.37.1 Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC)
All experiments or procedures involving live, vertebrate animals must be approved in advance by the animal care and use committee. The clearance form (available on the IACUC website) should be submitted to the committee through the graduate studies, research and continuing education office. Sufficient time should be allowed for the committee to review the application and, if necessary, to examine the facilities to be used. Responsibilities of the IACUC include the following:
1) Review at least every six months the university's program for humane care and use of animals.
2) Inspect at least once every six months the university's animal facilities.
3) Make recommendations and prepare reports regarding any aspect of the institution's animal program and facilities.
4) Review concerns involving the care and use of animals at the university.
5) Review, approve, suggest modifications, or disapprove of activities relating to the care and use of animals.
6) Review, approve, suggest modifications, or disapprove of changes regarding the use of animals in ongoing activities.
7) Is authorized to suspend an activity involving animals.
The membership of the IACUC is comprised of at least five individuals. As prescribed by Public Health Service guidelines, the committee includes a doctor of veterinary medicine, an individual whose primary concerns are in a nonscientific area, at least one person experienced in the care and use of animals, and an individual not affiliated with the university.
2-2.37.2 Guidelines for Use
The most appropriate approach shall be matched with the educational use or research objectives(s). When animals are included, the kinds and numbers shall be carefully matched with the specific aims of the protocol. When more than one species can be satisfactorily used, a major consideration shall be to choose the lowest species on the phylogenetic scale and the least sentient. Dogs and cats should be used only in situations where they are especially well matched with a teaching or research aim.
1. Investigators, instructors, and colony supervisors have a moral obligation to abide by the humanitarian dictate that experimental animals are not subjected to unnecessary pain or distress.
2. Use of live, vertebrate animals and the procurement of tissues from living animals for research or teaching must be performed by, or under the appropriate supervision of, a qualified biological, behavioral, or medical scientist approved by the IACUC.
3. The housing, care, and feeding of all animals must be supervised by a scientist or colony supervisor approved by the IACUC.
4. Investigators, instructors, and colony supervisors are responsible for instructing personnel in the humane care and use of animals.
5. The principal investigator, instructor, or colony supervisor shall have the primary responsibility for the monitoring of animals for compliance with this policy. Research technicians and the attending veterinarian shall have secondary responsibility.
B. Research or Instructional Use
1. The research project or educational use should demonstrate a reasonable expectation of yielding fruitful results for the good of society or to advance knowledge.
2. Experiments or other use of animals should be so designed that the anticipated results will justify the procedure.
3. Statistical analysis, mathematical models or in vitro biological systems should be used when appropriate to complement animal use and to assure that the numbers of animals used are matched with the aim(s) of the project.
4. Animals used for demonstration, development of student skills, or other instructional objectives will be cared for consistent with the guidelines.
5. Animals maintained in a colony and which have not been assigned or distributed to an investigator or instructor will be cared for consistent with the guidelines.
C. The Animal
1. Pain. Operationally, pain can be defined as discomfort exceeding that associated with the administration of an anesthetic. The experiment should be conducted so as to avoid all unnecessary suffering and injury to the animal. If pain or distress is a necessary concomitant of the experiment, these should be minimized in intensity, frequency and duration. An animal that is observed to be in a state of severe pain which cannot be alleviated should be immediately destroyed, using a humane, acceptable method for euthanasia. In any study the degree of pain involved should never exceed that determined by the humanitarian or scientific importance of the problem.
2. Post-Experimental Care. Post-experimental care of animals must minimize discomfort and the consequences of any disability resulting from the experiment in accordance with acceptable practices in veterinary medicine.
3. Restraint. Prolonged physical restraint procedures which result in distress or ill effects should only be used after alternative procedures have been considered and found inadequate.
4. Behavioral Reinforcement. Experiments studying behavioral responses to noxious stimuli such as shock or heat or cold stress should be designed to use a level of stimulus as low as possible consistent with obtaining reliable responses.
5. Surgery. Multiple major surgical procedures at different times on an individual animal, solely for the instruction of students or for the demonstration of established scientific knowledge, cannot be justified.
6. Anesthesia. If the experiment or procedure is likely to cause greater discomfort than that attending anesthetization, anesthetic or analgesic drugs should be used until the experiment or procedure is ended. Exceptions to this guideline should be only where the anesthetization would defeat the purpose of the experiment and data cannot be obtained by any other humane procedure.
7. Euthanasia. When it is necessary to euthanize an experimental animal, the animal must be killed in a humane manner, in such a way as to ensure immediate death, and in accordance with approved procedures. (For approved procedures see the most recent version of the "Report of the AVMA Panel on Euthanasia", published in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association.) No animal shall be discarded until dead and shall be disposed of by an acceptable method.
8. Conveyance to Third Parties. It is the policy of the university not to supply animals to individuals or organizations for use in experiments, as pets, or for other purposes except as approved by the IACUC.
9. Social Housing. Animals belonging to social species should be housed with other members of their species, except where a scientifically justifiable reason for non-social housing exists. Non-social housing of social animals must be approved of by the IACUC.
It is the policy of the university not to raise animals for food. However, euthanized animals may be supplied to licensed wildlife rehabilitators on a short-term basis.
It is the policy of the university to accept animals only from commercial sources and/or those that have been trapped according to Federal and State laws and regulations; specifically excluded are pets, stray animals, or animals from animal shelters.
Standards for the construction and use of housing, service, and surgical facilities should meet those described in the latest edition of the Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals or as otherwise required by U.S. Department of Agriculture regulations. The IACUC will inspect all animal facilities at a minimum of every six months.