REPORTING Concerns About the Care and Use of Animals
One function of an institutional review board (i.e., the IACUC) is to ensure investigators provide appropriate care for research and teaching animals. One method for ensuring this is to be open to individuals' questions and concerns.
The IACUC may be able to educate observers about the standards of care. They will also immediately review any allegations of suspected misuse of animals or deficiencies regarding the care and use of research or teaching animals, and determine whether action is warranted. Finally, the IACUC has the authority to suspend or terminate approval of research that is not being conducted in accordance with the IACUC's requirements or that has been associated with unexpected serious harm to animals.
B. PROCEDURES FOR REPORTING CONCERNS ABOUT THE CARE AND USE OF ANIMALS
An individual reporting a suspected deficiency need not identify him/herself to make a report. If an individual chooses to identify him/herself, the individual's identity will be kept in strictest confidence. Requests for anonymity will be honored to the fullest extent possible .
To make a report or discuss a concern or perceived problem, contact any of the following :
Concerns may be submitted in verbal or written form. When not submitted in written form, individuals who receive concerns will document them fully.
All concerns will be directed to the IACUC Chairperson who will investigate or delegate the investigation to a subcommittee. Concerns will be categorized as major -- conditions that reportedly jeopardize the immediate health or well-being of animals -- or minor -- allegations of ongoing policy or procedural deficiencies where animals are not in immediate danger. The course of action taken will be driven by the potential significance of the alleged situation and may range from immediate halting of procedures by the Attending Veterinarian to consideration at the next convened IACUC meeting. All concerns will also be reviewed by the IO in a timely manner. Funding and regulatory agencies will be notified as required.
No facility employee, Committee member, or laboratory personnel shall be discriminated against or be subject to any reprisal for reporting violations of any regulation or standards.