Animal Research Guidelines and Procedures

Preface

Research involving laboratory or farm animals is of primary importance in several disciplines on campus. Members of the College community who are conducting that research must be aware of, and follow, the College’s regulations for the use of animals in research. These regulations are derived from the guidelines published by the National Research Council (Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals. National Academy Press, Washington, D.C. 1996, pp. 2-3). Unless otherwise specified, all references to animals in this document refer to vertebrates and exclude invertebrates.

“In summary, the principles encourage

  • Design and performance of procedures on the basis of relevance to human or animal health, advancement of knowledge, or the good of society.
  • Use of appropriate species, quality, and number of animals.
  • Avoidance or minimization of discomfort, distress, and pain in concert with sound science.
  • Use of appropriate sedation, analgesia, or anesthesia.
  • Establishment of experimental end points.
  • Provision of appropriate animal husbandry directed and performed by qualified persons.
  • Conduct of experimentation on living animals only by or under the close supervision of qualified and experienced persons.”

“In general, the principles stipulate responsibilities of investigators, whose activities regarding use of animals are subject to oversight by an institutional animal, care and use committee (IACUC).”

Procedures for Review of the Research

A faculty member who plans to conduct or oversee research involving laboratory or farm animals must present the plan for that research to his/her department. Faculty members whose appointments are not in an academic department should direct their proposals to the Committee on General Education (COGE). The department (or COGE) has the responsibility of checking the proposal for compliance with the guidelines for the care and use of animals, based on the criteria below. The department (or COGE) will accept the project if it meets the guidelines. If accepted, the department will keep one copy of the proposal, and will forward a second copy to the Animal Care and Use Committee (ACUC) for filing and periodic review. If there is a lack of consensus in the department (or COGE), or if questions arise as to the use of animals in the research project, the proposal must be forwarded to the ACUC for review. The ACUC has the final decision as to whether the care and use of animals in the research project is appropriate. If the department (or COGE), or the ACUC determines that the care and use of animals is not appropriately addressed in the research proposal, the faculty member has the option of addressing the concerns and resubmitting the proposal, but the research cannot be carried out until the project is accepted.

Proposals that are accepted by the department, COGE or ACUC will be kept on file in the faculty member’s Department Chair’s office, and a copy of each proposal will be kept by the chair of the ACUC.

Faculty members may submit proposals directly to the ACUC if federal grant proposals require authorization.

Protocols used on a regular basis (e.g. laboratory exercises in regularly-taught classes) will be kept on file in the Department Chair’s office and updated only if protocols change.

All animal research to be done by students as part of faculty-supervised work must be approved by the faculty member’s department. Students must have a clear understanding of the necessity for the use of animals in their research, and must be trained in the care and use of the animals in question.

Criteria for Approval of All Animal Research at Berea College

The following topics must be addressed in the animal care and use proposals (NRC Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals):

  1. Rationale and purpose of the proposed use of vertebrate animals.
  2. Justification of the species and number of animals requested. Whenever possible, the number of animals requested should be justified statistically.
  3. Availability or appropriateness of the use of less-invasive procedures, other species, isolated organ preparation, cell or tissue culture, or computer simulation.
  4. Adequacy of training and experience of personnel in the procedures used.
  5. Unusual housing and husbandry requirements.
  6. Appropriate sedation, analgesia, and anesthesia.
  7. Unnecessary duplication of experiments.
  8. Conduct of multiple major operative procedures.
  9. Criteria and process for timely intervention, removal of animals from a study, or euthanasia if painful or stressful outcomes are anticipated.
  10. Post-procedure care.
  11. Method of euthanasia or disposition of animal.
  12. Safety of working environment for personnel.