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College of Charleston

Policy on Care and Use of Vertebrate Animals in Research and Instruction

0.0 CONTENTS
1.0 Applicability
2.0 Policy
3.0 Composition and Governance of the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC)
4.0 Responsibilities of the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee
5.0 Responsibilities of the Investigator/Instructor
6.0 Responsibilities of the Department Chair or Cognizant Administrator
7.0 The College's Institutional Animal Care and Use Program (IACUP)
 

1.0 APPLICABILITY

The Board of Trustees of the College of Charleston recognizes that the proper care and management of animals used in research and instruction is essential to the well-being of the animals, to the validity of research data, to the quality of instruction, and to the health and safety of those caring for and using animals. Therefore, the Board has adopted the policy and procedures herein, which are applicable to all research and instruction activities conducted at or under the auspices of the College of Charleston that involve vertebrate animals, including non-laboratory species.
 

2.0 POLICY

2.1 It is the policy of the Board of Trustees that use of live vertebrate animals in research and instruction shall conform to all applicable laws, rules, and regulations of the United States Government and the State of South Carolina. Furthermore, all such research and instruction must be performed in compliance with the highest standards of ethics, practice, and conduct of each of the fields or disciplines involved in each of the specific research projects or instructional activities.

2.2 To ensure compliance with regulations regarding the humane care and use of animals in research and instruction, the President shall appoint an Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee which meets regulatory requirements and is charged with the responsibility of ensuring the humane care and use of animals at the College.

2.3 The Board of Trustees of the College of Charleston and the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee recognize the following regulatory authorities for the care and use of animals:

2.3.1 The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). The Animal Care section of the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service of the USDA is responsible for implementing the regulations and standards promulgated by the Secretary of Agriculture under the mandate of the Animal Welfare Act. The regulations define institutional responsibility for assuring compliance with the Animal Welfare Act. The standards set minimal requirements for humane handling, housing, space, feeding, watering, sanitation, ventilation, exercise, and psychological well-being of various species. Compliance requirements include annual reporting, application of standards for animal care and use during experimentation, documentation of the number of animals used, and summaries of exceptions granted for scientific necessity. USDA personnel perform unannounced inspections of institutional animal facilities.

2.3.2 The Office for Laboratory Animal Welfare (OLAW). OLAW is responsible for the general administration and coordination of National Institutes of Health (NIH) policy regarding animal care and use. Public Health Service (PHS) awarding units may not make an award for a project involving vertebrate animals unless the institution submitting the application or proposal is on the list of institutions that have an acceptable animal welfare assurance letter on file with OLAW, and the responsible institutional official has provided verification of approval by the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee. All records that directly relate to applications, proposals, and proposed changes in ongoing research reviewed and approved by the Animal Care Committee must be maintained for at least three years after completion of the research and must be accessible to OLAW with reasonable notice.

2.4 The Board of Trustees of the College of Charleston and the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee further recognize the following guidelines, and any others, which are subsequently officially adopted by the IACUC, for the care and use of non-laboratory animals in research and instruction.
2.4.1 Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals, 8th Edition. National Research Council of the National Academies, National Academies Press, 2011

2.4.2 Guidelines for Use of Fishes in Research. Fisheries, The American Fisheries Society, American Institute of Fisheries Research Biologists, and American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists, 2003.

2.4.3 Guidelines for Use of Live Amphibians and Reptiles in Field and Laboratory Research. American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists, 2004.

2.4.4 Guidelines to the Use of Wild Birds in Research. Special Publication of The Ornithological Council, 2010.

2.4.5 Guidelines for Ethical Conduct in the Care and Use of Nonhuman Animals in Research. American Psychological Association.


3.0 COMPOSITION AND GOVERNANCE OF THE INSTITUTIONAL ANIMAL CARE AND USE COMMITTEE

3.1 The Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) shall be appointed by the President and shall advise the Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs (Institutional Official) about matters pertaining to animal care and utilization in research and instruction.

3.2 The membership of the IACUC shall meet the requirements of Federal regulations and shall include members who are qualified through experience and expertise. The IACUC shall include at least three voting members. One shall be a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine with training or experience in laboratory animal science and medicine who shall have responsibility for providing veterinary care to the animals. At least one member of the committee shall not have any affiliation with the College except service on the IACUC.

3.3 Other than the Consulting Veterinarian, who shall be an ex-officio member, IACUC members are appointed for a term of three years with reappointment possible.

3.4 The terms of voting IACUC members shall be staggered with at least one member completing his/her term each academic year. (The academic year is August 15 to August 14.)

3.5 An IACUC Chair and an IACUC Vice-Chair shall each be elected for a one-year term at the first IACUC meeting of the academic year.

3.6 In the event of resignation of the Chair from the position but not the committee, the Vice-Chair will assume the Chair position and will complete the departing Chair's term of office. A new Vice-Chair shall then be elected from among the voting members.

3.7 In the event of resignation of the Chair from the committee, the Vice-Chair will assume the Chair position and will complete the departing Chair's term of office. He/she will then identify and recommend a replacement member for appointment by the President. A new Vice-Chair will then be elected from among the voting members to complete the departing Vice-Chair's term of office.

3.8 In the event of resignation of the Vice-Chair from the position but not the committee, the Chair shall hold a special election to select a new Vice-Chair from among the voting members. The new Vice-Chair shall complete the original Vice-Chair's term of office.

3.9 In the event of resignation of the Vice-Chair from the committee, the Chair will identify and recommend a replacement member for appointment by the President. The Chair shall then hold a special election to select a new Vice-Chair from among the voting members. The new Vice-Chair shall complete the departing Vice-Chair's term of office.

3.10 In the event of resignation from the committee of a voting member who is not an officer, the Chair of the IACUC will identify and recommend a replacement for appointment by the President. The member appointed to fill the vacancy will assume the remaining term of the departing member.

3.11 The IACUP Director (IACUP) shall serve as a non-voting consultant to the IACUC.

3.12 The Office of Research and Grants Administration (ORGA) shall provide staff support to the IACUC by providing announcements and agendas for its meetings, recording the minutes of its meetings, serving as a repository of all IACUC correspondence and records, and the like.

3.13 The Office of Research and Grants Administration shall serve as the first and primary contact point for inquiries and submissions to the IACUC. ORGA staff shall forward applications to IACUC members for review.

3.14 If deemed necessary by the IACUC, during the Spring semester of each year, the Director of Research and Grants Administration shall issue a request to the faculty for nominations to replace outgoing IACUC members. Current IACUC members may also submit nominations. Nominations shall be submitted to the Office of Research and Grants Administration.

3.15 The Director of Research and Grants Administration, after consultation with the IACUC Chair, the IACUP Director, and/or the Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs, shall submit to the President a slate of individuals recommended to replace outgoing IACUC members. The President shall appoint the new members.

3.16 The IACUC shall meet at least once per month during September, October, November, January, February, March, April, and June to review protocols and to tend to other business. Meeting dates and protocol review application deadlines shall be made public to the College at the beginning of each semester. Regular meetings may be cancelled if there is no business to transact.

3.17 In addition to its regular meetings, the IACUC shall meet at least once every six months to review the institution's animal care and use program and to inspect the animal facilities. These meetings and inspections may be conducted immediately preceding or immediately following a regularly scheduled IACUC meeting.

3.18 A simple majority of the voting members shall constitute a quorum.

3.19 Alternate members may be appointed by the President to serve and participate on the IACUC in the absence of voting members. When a quorum of voting members is not present, the IACUC Chair may delegate full responsibilities of membership (including voting privileges) to an alternate member.

3.20 The IACUC may solicit ad hoc reviewers with specific expertise to assist in protocol reviews on a case-by-case basis. Ad hoc reviewers may participate, but not vote, in the designated reviews.


4.0 RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE INSTITUTIONAL ANIMAL CARE AND USE COMMITTEE

4.1 The Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) shall conduct semi-annual reviews of the College's Institutional Animal Care and Use Program (IACUP) and shall report findings to the Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs.

4.2 The IACUC shall conduct semi-annual inspections of all of the College's animal facilities, including satellite facilities, and shall report findings to the Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs.

4.3 The IACUC shall receive and review concerns or complaints reported by faculty, staff, students, or members of the general public concerning the care and use of animals at the College of Charleston.

4.4 The IACUC may make written recommendations to the Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs regarding any aspect of the College's animal care and use program, facilities, or personnel training.

4.5 The IACUC shall review all research and instruction protocols involving vertebrate animals conducted at, or under the auspices of, any unit of the College of Charleston, whether or not supported by an external agency. The following types of projects are subject to IACUC review and approval:

4.5.1. Externally or Internally Funded Research Proposals. Prior to submitting a grant proposal for extramural or intramural funding, or as soon thereafter as possible, the investigator must submit an Animal Care and Use Protocol Review Application (ACUPRA). No animals may be acquired for research or instruction before review and approval of the protocol by the IACUC.

4.5.2 Independent Faculty Research or Laboratory Exercises. All independent faculty research with vertebrate animals, including pilot experiments conducted to obtain data necessary to the preparation of extramural grant proposals, and other laboratory exercises require approval of the experimental protocols and husbandry methods by the IACUC before being initiated.

4.5.3 Field Research and Biological Surveys. All fieldwork involving vertebrate species, whether research or instruction, must be approved by the IACUC prior to initiation. Particular attention must be given to activities that may involve animals that are on the State or Federal threatened, endangered, or protected species lists, that require special permits for handling, or that involve use of equipment and procedures that may be construed by some as inhumane.

4.5.4 Independent Student Research (excluding Bachelor's Essay and Master's Thesis). Faculty members who supervise independent research projects may submit a set of procedures for approval by the IACUC from which the student may select to address the independent research question identified. Procedures not included in those approved for the class instructor and specific for the laboratory will require submission of an independent request for protocol evaluation. Students should be made aware by the faculty member that this may delay their research and may adversely affect their ability to complete the course in the prescribed time interval.

4.5.5 Bachelor's Essay and Master's Thesis Research. All Bachelors? Essay and Master's Thesis research protocols, including pilot or exploratory research, must be approved by the IACUC prior to initiation of the work with animals. Student submissions must be cosigned by their major professor or advisor, who will have ultimate responsibility for proper training of the student in the care and handling of the animals and in any specialized techniques required for the research.

4.5.6 Classroom Instruction. All classroom instruction activities involving the use of live vertebrate animals must be approved by the IACUC prior to initiation.

4.5.7 General Animal Care and Use Protocols. The Investigator or instructor responsible for general animal care and use in any facility must submit an Animal Care and Use Protocol Review Application for these tasks. Included under this project classification are procedures for animal display facilities and animal breeding programs. These submissions must include a list of the species to be maintained and an estimate of the numbers of each animal bred or used annually. If animals maintained or produced under such an approval are transferred to an Investigator for use in experiments or to an instructor for educational purposes, the investigator or instructor must have a valid IACUC approved project for use and maintenance of the transferred animals and must notify the IACUC of the species and number of animals transferred.

4.6 The use of vertebrate animals in research or instruction covered by this policy will not be permitted until the IACUC has reviewed and approved the protocol. The IACUC will not normally consider any requests for retroactive approvals.

4.7 The IACUC shall exercise its responsibility and authority to approve, withhold approval of, or require changes in research or instructional protocols involving vertebrate animals in accordance with Federal regulations and accepted guidelines.

4.8 The IACUC shall review, approve, withhold approval of, or require modifications to proposed significant changes regarding the use of vertebrate animals in previously approved research or instruction protocols.

4.9 The IACUC shall notify the investigator or instructor, the Office of Research and Grants Administration, the Department Chair/Cognizant Administrator, and the Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs in writing of decisions to approve, withhold approval of, or require modifications to those proposed protocols reviewed.

4.10 The IACUC may suspend any activity involving vertebrate animals that is not being conducted in compliance with applicable provisions of Federal or State law or College policy or in accordance with a protocol approved by IACUC.

4.11 The IACUC shall report suspended activities or continuing or serious non-compliance with the requirements of this policy to the investigator's/ instructor's Department Chair and Dean and the Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and to Federal authorities as required by the Federal Animal Welfare Act and the Public Health Service Policy on Humane Care and Use of Laboratory Animals and to any applicable funding agency.

4.12 When research or instruction involving vertebrate animals is conducted through a cooperative project at, or in cooperation with, another entity, all provisions of this policy remain in effect. The College of Charleston IACUC may accept, for the purpose of meeting the IACUC review requirements, the review of an IACUC established in accordance with U.S. Department of Agriculture and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, rules and regulations. Such acceptance must be in writing and must be signed by the Chairs of the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committees at each of the cooperating institutions.


5.0 RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE INVESTIGATOR/INSTRUCTOR

5.1 The principal investigator who anticipates using vertebrate animals should become knowledgeable about, and conduct all research and instruction in accordance with, approved policies governing the care and use of animals.

5.2 The principal investigator should participate in continuing education and training programs designed to keep animal users abreast of the latest regulations and procedures. The principal investigator should also emphasize the role of animals in their studies when presenting research results or discussing human and animal diseases with lay audiences and should describe the contributions of humanely conducted animal studies to the development of new technologies and treatment capabilities.

5.3 The principal investigator should maintain a scholarly, sensitive, and respectful environment during all experimentation and instructional activities involving the use of animals.

5.4 The investigator seeking external funding should indicate the involvement of vertebrate animals on the College's Office of Research and Grants Administration Pre-Award Proposal Routing Sheet for sponsored projects.

5.5 The principal investigator should prepare an Animal Care and Use Protocol Review Application, giving a complete description of the proposed animal care and use protocol. (Application forms are available from ORGA.) The principal investigator shall make provisions for the humane care and use of the animals and shall ensure that pertinent laws, regulations, and guidelines are observed.

5.6 The principal investigator shall ensure that all protocols involving vertebrate animals are submitted to the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee through the Office of Research and Grants Administration and approved by the IACUC prior to initiating the proposed work.

5.7 The principal investigator shall submit a protocol modification request to the IACUC when the plans for use of vertebrate animals previously submitted will be different from that which was initially approved by the IACUC. The principal investigator shall not initiate changes without prior IACUC review and approval, except when necessary to eliminate apparent immediate hazards to the animals or to humans.

5.8  The principal investigator using vertebrate animals shall comply with all IACUC decisions, conditions, and requirements.

5.9 The principal investigator shall maintain and use animals only in approved animal facilities whenever possible. IACUC approval is required when animal use protocols dictate unusual environmental, dietary, or colony requirements that cannot be met in approved animal care facilities.

5.10 The principal investigator shall ensure that animal care and use records are retained for a minimum of three years after animal use is completed and that they are easily accessible by U.S. Department of Agriculture inspectors and IACUC monitors. These records may not be removed from the campus without the prior approval of the IACUC.

5.11 The principal investigator shall submit continuing review applications to the IACUC as often as, and in the manner, prescribed by the IACUC, but not less than once per year, as long as the use of animals is ongoing.

5.12 TThe principal investigator shall report promptly to the IACUC, the IACUP Director, and/or the Consulting Veterinarian any injuries to or illnesses of the animals.

5.13 The principal investigator shall report promptly to the IACUC any non-compliance with the requirements of this policy or the determinations of the IACUC.

5.14 To facilitate the review of research and instructional protocols involving the use of vertebrate animals, the principal investigator is expected to attend IACUC meetings when requested by the IACUC.

5.15 To facilitate the review of research and instructional protocols involving the use of vertebrate animals, the principal investigator may request a meeting with the IACUC. Requests should be submitted to the Chair of the IACUC.


6.0 RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE DEPARTMENT CHAIR OR COGNIZANT ADMINISTRATOR

6.1 Department Chairs (or cognizant administrators) shall review and approve applications for use of vertebrate animals in research and instruction prior to their submission to the Office of Research and Grants Administration for consideration by the IACUC.

6.2 Department Chairs (or cognizant administrators), through appropriate procedures established within their respective departments/units, shall review research protocols for ethical considerations and for scientific and/or educational merit.

6.3 In conjunction with the investigator/instructor, Department Chairs (or cognizant administrators) shall report promptly to the IACUC any serious or continuing non-compliance with the requirements of this policy or the determinations of the IACUC.

6.4 To facilitate the review of research and instructional protocols involving the use of vertebrate animals, Department Chairs (or cognizant administrators) are expected to attend IACUC meetings when requested by the IACUC.


7.0 THE COLLEGE'S INSTITUTIONAL ANIMAL CARE AND USE PROGRAM (IACUP)

7.1 Responsibility for the College's Institutional Animal Care and Use Program (IACUP) rests with the Institutional Official (Senior Vice Provost). Day-to-day management of the program is the responsibility of the Director of the IACUP, who reports to the Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs. The IACUP was established to assure compliance with applicable standards, laws and regulations for humane treatment of animals used in research and instruction, to provide professional expertise and services to the College in matters concerning the care and use of vertebrate animals, and to facilitate implementation of this policy.

7.2 The responsibilities and authority of the IACUP Director include:

7.2.1 Supervising the operation of all animal facilities, including direct supervision of animal care staff and provision of all animal care.

7.2.2 Interpreting Federal and State laws, regulations, policies and guidelines concerning the utilization of animals in research and teaching activities.

7.2.3 Developing and documenting all procedures and working policies pertaining to the animal care and use program and facility management.

7.2.4 Coordinating and monitoring all vertebrate animal procurement and ensuring that appropriate permits and transportation arrangements are completed properly.

7.2.5 Maintaining an information resource center pertaining to the utilization of animals.

7.2.6 Providing information and services to investigators regarding requirements and procedures necessary to achieve a level of animal care and use that meets or exceeds contemporary professional standards and Federal and State regulations.

7.2.7 Sponsoring and coordinating seminars and training programs for campus faculty, staff, and students on topics of appropriate animal utilization and care as required by Federal law.

7.2.8 Providing a consulting service to investigators on matters of animal research, including housing; appropriate methods of handling and restraint; selection of analgesics, anesthetics, and tranquilizers; and methods of euthanasia.

7.2.9 Monitoring and providing recommendations on all aspects of surgery programs, including preoperative procedures, surgical techniques, and postoperative care.

7.2.10 Ensuring that appropriate monitoring programs are implemented to detect and treat ill or injured animals.

7.2.11 Providing or otherwise ensuring the provision of veterinary care services to university owned and/or housed animals.

7.2.12 Ensuring that the Consulting Veterinarian is contacted whenever it appears that veterinary services are necessary.

7.2.13 Making independent emergency decisions concerning the treatment regimen of individual animals found to be experiencing unalleviated pain or suffering, and ensuring that these animals are provided appropriate veterinary care or are humanely euthanized, unless this is in direct conflict with experimental goals that have been previously described in a protocol approved by the IACUC. (Whenever possible, the investigator will be consulted prior to initiating treatment or euthanasia. In all cases, however, the welfare of the animal will be the primary consideration.)

7.2.14 Suspending activities that do not comply with this policy until they can be reviewed by the IACUC.

7.2.15 Immediately reporting suspended activities to the Institutional Official and the Chair of the IACUC for resolution.

7.2.16 Serving as a consultant to the IACUC.

7.2.17 Coordinating semiannual inspections of animal facilities by the IACUC. 

7.2.18 Hosting and escorting persons inspecting the animal facilities (e.g., U.S. Department of Agriculture inspectors).

7.2.19 Developing and submitting annual plans and budget requests for the Animal Care and Use Program to the Director of Research and Grants Administration.

7.2.20 Acting as a liaison between faculty, university administrators, the IACUC and regulatory and funding agencies concerning animal welfare and use activities.



Approval: College of Charleston Board of Trustees Date: 04-19-00
Administrative Update: Office of Research & Grants Administration  Date:  03-26-03, 08,21,2012
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