Animal Use Protocol
Texas A&M University is committed to maintaining high standards for the care and use of animals in its research, testing, and teaching programs. Texas A&M has adopted the “U.S. Government Principles for the Utilization and Care of Vertebrate Animals Used in Testing, Research and Training,” and complies with all applicable federal, state, and local laws which impact the care and use of animals. Texas A&M investigators, teachers, staff, and students accept responsibility for determining that research, testing, and teaching involving the use of animals fulfill these principles, policies, and regulations. To assure compliance:
- Approval of AUPs - All vertebrate animals must be covered by an animal use protocol (AUP) approved by the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) prior to acquisition and/or use of animals and throughout the entire period of animal use or maintenance.
- Duration of Approval - AUPs are approved for a three-year period at which time a new AUP is required for continuation. Additionally, animal work regulated by the Animal Welfare Act requires annual review and approval by the IACUC for continuation. The first and second annual continuing reviews must be approved prior to the anniversary of the date that the IACUC approved the AUP.
- Amendments to AUPs - Changes in personnel, species usage, animal procedures, anesthesia, post-operative care, or biohazard procedures to the animal portion of a study must be requested in writing to the IACUC for approval prior to initiation of the proposed changes.
- Infectious Biohazards, Recombinant DNA - Animal research projects involving infectious biohazards, hazardous chemicals, or recombinant DNA in or on live animals, including procedures such as introduction of recombinant organisms into animals and generation of transgenic or knockout animals, must be approved by the Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC). (http://rcb.tamu.edu/biohazards)
- Training of Personnel - Personnel working with animals must be qualified by training and/or experience to perform their animal responsibilities.
- Occupational Health - Personnel who work with animals or are at risk from animal exposure must be enrolled in an Occupational Health Program and informed of the risks associated with the animal exposure. (http://rcb.tamu.edu/bohp)
- Evaluations - All housing locations are inspected semiannually. The institutional program of animal care and use is reviewed by the IACUC semiannually. Unannounced inspections and observations of animal quarters and/or experimental or teaching procedures may be performed by the institutional attending veterinarian, or designee, or by the IACUC.
- Suspension of Animal Activities - The IACUC is authorized to suspend an AUP if it is found that animal activities being conducted do not conform to approved procedures outlined in the AUP. The institutional attending veterinarian or designee is authorized, when animal activities are found to be causing severe distress to an animal and the pain cannot be relieved, to humanely destroy that animal. Institutional veterinarians will make a concerted effort to discuss these situations with investigators/instructors prior to initiating such action.
- Animal Welfare Obligation - All individuals participating in animal care and use activities must assure animal well-being for all animals engaged in such activities. If an unanticipated problem/adverse event occurs, then the individual having knowledge of the event must report it to the Principal Investigator and to the IACUC. It is the responsibility of the PI to ensure that all events are promptly and appropriately reported. (http://rcb.tamu.edu/animals/forms)
Signature certifies that the Principal Investigator/Instructor
- Assures that this AUP accurately reflects the research/teaching described in any accompanying grant proposal.
- Assures that the proposed work does not unnecessarily duplicate previous experiments.
- Will conduct the project/course in full compliance with the aforementioned requirements.
- Will assure personnel are appropriately trained and skilled to perform the animal work described in this AUP and that each understands his/her responsibilities and agrees to fulfill them in full compliance with aforementioned requirements.
- Understands the requirements of the Public Health Service Policy for the Humane Care and Use of Laboratory Animals, applicable portions of the Animal Welfare Regulations (Animal Welfare Act), and the institution's policies governing the use of vertebrate animals for research, testing, teaching, or demonstration purposes.
- Will assure personnel are aware of, educated about, and provided with appropriate protective equipment when working with animals and any associated hazards.
- Understands that work with animals is limited specifically to what is approved in this document.
When using privately owned animals for research, testing, or teaching the following exclusions may apply:
- Semiannual inspection of privately owned animal housing facilities may not apply as determined by the IACUC.
- PI assurance of the training and qualifications of non-institutional personnel may not apply as determined by the IACUC.
- PI assurance of personnel safety for activities conducted at non-institutional sites may not apply as determined by the IACUC.