Federal regulations from the PHS Policy IV.A. and USDA 9 CFR, 2.31 require that institutions that use animals in research and teaching have an Attending Veterinarian (AV) who shall provide adequate veterinary care to its animals in compliance with the regulations. A Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (D.V.M.) has to be appointed to serve on the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) with the authority and responsibility for activities involving animals at the institution. As per the Animal Welfare Act and the Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals and the Guide for the Care and Use of Agricultural Animals in Research and Teaching, the AV is a graduate veterinarian who has received training or experience in the care of the species being attended and who has direct or delegated authority for activities involving animals. The attending veterinarian at PVAMU is a voting member of the IACUC.
The AV ensures that the animal care programs include provisions of appropriate facilities, personnel, and equipment to assure compliance with regulatory requirements. The AV has the authority to ensure that adequate veterinary care is provided at all times, and must have unrestricted access to areas where animals are housed and used in teaching and research.
The AV will consult with researchers to provide guidance on procedures and assists them and animal care staff by providing training in humane methods of animal maintenance and experimentation.
The AV is a leader and collaborator in all aspects of an institution’s animal care and use program and has ample authority to make decisions, has clear and open lines of communication with the Institutional Official and IACUC.