IACUC SOP 701

Responsibilities of IACUC Members

  1. PURPOSE

This describes the responsibilities of the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC).

 

  1. APPLICABLE REGULATIONS AND GUIDELINES

2.1.Animal Welfare Act and Animal Welfare Regulations

2.2. PHS Policy on Humane Care and Use of Laboratory Animals

2.3.AWAP-201 Composition and Appointment of the IACUC

2.4.AWAP-204 Training of IACUC Members

2.5.AWAP-501 Animal Concerns, Complaints, and Non-Compliance

 

  1. RESPONSIBILITES

3.1.The Institution clearly defines the responsibilities of IACUC members so that each member is appropriately informed and qualified to fulfill those responsibilities:

3.1.1.    .   Review at least once every six months the institution’s program for humane care and use of animals;

3.1.2.    Inspect at least once every six months each of the institution’s animal facilities;

3.1.3.    Prepare reports of the IACUC evaluations conducted and submit to the Institutional Official (10);

3.1.4.    Review concerns involving the care and use of animals at the institution;

3.1.5.    Make recommendations to the 10 regarding any aspect of the institution’s animal program, facilities, or personnel training;

3.1.6.    Review, require modifications in (to secure approval), approve, or withhold approval of activities related to the care and use of animals;

3.1.7.     Review, require modifications in (to secure approval), approve, or withhold approval of proposed significant  changes regarding the use of animals in ongoing activities;

3.1.8.     .   Be authorized to suspend an activity involving animals.

 

3.2.. In order to fulfill their duties, IACUC members are expected to be knowledgeable in regulations governing animal welfare assurance, research ethics, and the policies of Texas A&M University germane to animal welfare assurance.

 

3.3.Each IACUC member’s primary responsibility is the assurance of the health and welfare of the animal subjects of research, testing or teaching.

 

3.4.To the Institution – Texas A&M University – The IACUC(s) are appointed as Institutional Committees. As such, the IACUC members serve Texas A&M University as a whole, rather than a particular department. Therefore, members must not allow their own interest or that of their department to supersede their duty to protect the rights and welfare of research subjects.

 

 

IACUC members protect the institution by providing oversight of the animal care and use program to ensure compliance with federal and institutional regulations and policies.

 

3.5. IACUC members and Chairpersons are appointed to a 3-year term.

 

3.6.IACUC members are expected to fully understand the duties of IACUC membership prior to accepting appointment as an IACUC member.

 

3.7.To animals – The IACUC serves as an advocate to assure humane care and use of the animals by careful evaluation and monitoring of animal activities.

 

3.8.To the Investigators – The IACUC serves to assist and educate investigators, teachers and personnel involved in animal activities to facilitate use of animals in research and teaching in compliance with regulations.

 

3.9.To the Community – The IACUC serves to provide oversight of the animal care and use program to satisfy public concerns regarding the animal use. The IACUC tasks investigators to ensure that the proposed experiments are refined to:

3.9.1.    Use the most current techniques;

3.9.2.    Reduce the number of animals needed to the lowest possible number to achieve statistical significance;

3.9.3.      Replace the use of animals with other techniques where possible.

 

3.10.         Specific Duties – All Voting Members:

3.10.1.  Review of proposed animal work and of proposed significant modifications to approved animal activities – Members are expected to contribute to the evaluation of a study on its scientific and statistical merits and standards of practice.  The members should also be able to advise the IACUC if additional expertise is required to assess if the protocol adequately protects the health and wellbeing of animals involved in the research project.

 

3.10.2.  . Semiannual inspection of Animal Facilities – Members are expected to participate in the evaluation of animal housing and study areas on a semiannual basis and to identify deficiencies in animal care or use in accordance with federal regulations . Members are expected to advise the IACUC of observed deficiencies, recommend corrective action and suggested timetables for correction .

 

3.10.3. Semiannual Review of the Program for Animal Care and Use – Members are expected to participate in the semiannual evaluation of the institution’s program for the humane care and use of animals and to identify deficiencies in the program in accordance with federal regulations. Members are expected to advise the IACUC of observed deficiencies, recommend corrective action and suggested timetables for correction.

 

3.10.4.  Semiannual Reports to the Institutional Official – Members are expected to participate in the submission of semiannual reports to the Institutional official through the review and approval of the facility inspection and program evaluation reports.

 

3.10.5.  Investigations of Reports of Animal Concerns or Non-Compliance – Members are expected to participate in the receipt and investigation of reports of animal concerns or

non-compliance in accordance with federal regulations and institutional policy described in SOP AWAP-01-017 Animal Concerns, Complaints, and Non-Compliance.

 

3.11.         Chair – In addition to the above responsibilities, the Chair directs meetings of the IACUC. The Chair performs designated review or delegates to an appropriate voting IACUC member. The Chair is empowered to convene an emergency meeting consisting of a quorum

 

 

of voting members. The Chair may also appoint a subcommittee to investigate any animal welfare concerns or complaints brought to the attention of the IACUC or AWAP.  The Chair will inform the IACUC members of such concerns and assure that concerns are investigated in accordance with procedures as outlined in AWAP-01-017 Animal Concerns, Complaints, and Non-Compliance.

 

3.12.         Vice Chair – The 10 may appoint a Vice Chair from the voting members to act on behalf of the Chair as needed. The Chair also may delegate any of his/her responsibilities to other qualified individual(s) as needed. The AWAP will maintain the documentation of authority.

 

3.13.         Attending Veterinarian – Each  IACUC  voting membership shall include a Doctor  of Veterinary  Medicine (DVM) who has direct or delegated program responsibility for activities involving animals at Texas A&M University and at other system members and other facilities having written agreements with Texas A&M University.  There may be more than one DVM appointed to the committee.  The Attending Veterinarian (AV) may serve as an ex-officio member but shall fulfill the duties and responsibilities of the AV as described in federal regulations.  The AV has the authority to immediately halt an animal activity if there are concerns of the safety and wellbeing of the animals.

 

3.14.         Unaffiliated and Non-Scientist Members -

3.14.1. The unaffiliated member(s) provides representation for general community interests in the proper care and use of animals and will conduct review of animal activities with those interests in mind.

3.14.2. . The non-scientist members will conduct review of animal activities in a non-scientific view and will consider impact of proposed animal activities apart from scientific considerations.

 

3.15.         Alternate Members – Alternate members will perform the duties expected of the regular members for whom they serve.

3.15.1. The alternate will be provided the same information and materials as the regular members to ensure adequate knowledge to perform IACUC duties as required.

3.15.2. Alternate members are expected to “vote their conscience” as opposed to representing the position of the regular member for whom they serve.

 

3.16.         Non-Voting Members – Non-voting members may provide expertise helpful to the IACUC in achieving proper oversight of the animal care and use programs.  They are encouraged to attend all Committee activities and may participate in discussions of Committee issues, but may not vote on issues before the Committee.

 

3.17.         Training Responsibilities – All voting and alternate members are required to complete training as described in document AWAP-01-005 Composition and Appointment of the IACUC and AWAP-01-007 Training of IACUC Members.

 

  1. REVISION HISTORY

00 – This is an original procedure.

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