Policy on the Humane Care and Use of Laboratory Animals

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Florida Institute of Technology Policy on the Humane Care and Use of Laboratory Animals

The Florida Institute of Technology endorses the United States Government "Principles for the Utilization and Care of Vertebrate Animals Used in Testing, Research, and Training".

Principles for the utilization and care of vertebrate animals used in testing, research, and training

The development of knowledge necessary for the improvement of the health and well being of humans as well as other animals requires in vivo experimentation with a wide variety of animal species. Whenever U.S. Government agencies develop requirements for testing, research, or training procedures involving the use of vertebrate animals, the following principles shall be considered; and whenever these agencies actually perform or sponsor such procedures, the responsible institutional official shall ensure that these principles are adhered to:

  1. The transportation, care, and use of animals should be in accordance with the Animal Welfare Act (7 U.S.C. 2131 et seq.) and other applicable federal laws, guidelines, and policies.
  2. Procedures involving animals should be designed and performed with due consideration of their relevance to human or animal health, the advancement of knowledge, or the good of society.
  3. The animals selected for a procedure should be of an appropriate species and quality and the minimum number required to obtain valid results. Methods such as mathematical models, computer simulation, and in vitro biological systems should be considered.
  4. Proper use of animals, including the avoidance or minimization of discomfort, distress, and pain when consistent with sound scientific practices, is imperative. Unless the contrary is established, investigators should consider that procedures that cause pain or distress in human beings may cause pain or distress in other animals.
  5. Procedures with animals that may cause more than momentary or slight pain or distress should be performed with appropriate sedation, analgesia, or anesthesia. Surgical or other painful procedures should not be performed on unanesthetized animals paralyzed by chemical agents.
  6. Animals that would otherwise suffer severe or chronic pain or distress that cannot be relieved should be painlessly killed at the end of the procedure or, if appropriate, during the procedure.
  7. The living conditions of animals should be appropriate for their species and should contribute to their health and comfort. Normally, the housing, feeding, and care of all animals used for biomedical purposes must be directed by a veterinarian or other scientist trained and experienced in the proper care, handling, and use of the species being maintained or studied. In any case, veterinary care shall be provided as indicated.
  8. Investigators and other personnel shall be appropriately qualified and experienced for conducting procedures on living animals. Adequate arrangements shall be made for their in-service training, including the proper and humane care and use of laboratory animals.
  9. Where exceptions are required in relation to the provisions of these principles, the decisions should not rest with the investigators directly concerned but should be made, with due regard to principle 2, by an appropriate review group such as an institutional animal care and use committee. Such exceptions should not be made solely for the purposes of teaching or demonstration.

For guidance through these principles, please refer to the Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals prepared by the Institute of Laboratory Animal Resources, National Research Council.

The Animal Welfare Act and Public Health Service policy require research facilities such as Florida Institute of Technology to establish an Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC).

The membership and duties of the IACUC are specifically defined. The IACUC must review policies involving the use of animals, inspect facilities and submit reports of the inspection results to the Institutional Official of the facility. The Animal Welfare Act requires the IACUC to review research protocols involving animals, listing very specific information that is to be evaluated in the protocol reviews and assuring that employees are qualified and properly trained. The IACUC is also charged with investigating and acting on complaints regarding the use of animals at the research facility.

This is a very simplified summary of the requirements of the IACUC. For more specific information, please refer to the Animal Welfare Act and the Public Health Service Policy on Humane Care and Use of Laboratory Animals.

The following documents are to be used by the Florida Institute of Technology Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee and all Principal Investigators and their staff as the basis for humane care and use of laboratory animals:

Animal Welfare Act

Guide for Care and Use of Laboratory Animals

2002 Revised Public Health Service Policy on Humane Care and Use of Laboratory Animals

2013 Report of the AVMA Panel on Euthanasia

Florida Institute of Technology Program for Humane Care and Use of Animals

Florida Institute of Technology Animal Use Approval Forms