Research Guidelines for Animal Use
Stetson University sees the necessity for using living animals for some forms of experimentation. The university also recognizes that animal experimentation should be done in such a manner as to minimize pain and suffering to the animals. To demonstrate its desire to meet the goal of minimizing pain and suffering to experimental animals used on its campus, Stetson University has prepared an Assurance of Compliance for Public Health Service Policy on Humane Care and Use of Laboratory Animals (hereafter known as the Assurance) that has been approved by the Federal Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare (OLAW). This Assurance meets the requirements of the Animal Welfare Act [published in Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), Title 9, Chapter 1, Subchapter A, Parts 1, 2, and 3]. The Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) is charged with seeing that the university's Assurance is fulfilled. This section of the Stetson University website gives the procedures members of the Stetson Community will follow to prepare a proposal for submission to the IACUC for review whenever living vertebrate animals are involved in experimentation. Copies of Stetson's Assurance and the Animal Welfare Act are available through Stetson's duPont-Ball Library.
Animal Welfare Law
The United States Congress passed the Animal Welfare Act to ensure that animals, used in research or teaching, are necessary, humanely treated, and properly housed and fed. With this Act Congress recognized that in some instances use of live animals in experimentation provides essential models to the understanding of biological processes. This Law covers all vertebrate organisms, animals that have internal skeletons. Organizations using live animals for training or research must establish policies that assure that they will meet the directives in this Law. Stetson's Assurance meets these requirements. A copy of the Animal Welfare Act has been placed on reserve in the Library for review of the Stetson Community.
Institutional Animal Use and Care Committee (IACUC)
The IACUC was established by the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, the Institutional Officer responsible for compliance of the Assurance, to oversee the policies put forth in the Assurance. Membership to the IACUC is appointed periodically as needed by the Institutional Officer as a condition of the Assurance.
The IACUC is charged with doing the following things:
- Provide a training program to insure all members of the Stetson Community who are involved in handling animals do so under the guidelines established by the Assurance
- Review twice a year all facilities at Stetson University used to handle live animals
- Review and approve (or disapprove) all training and research proposals submitted by Departments, faculty, or students
- Review twice a year all continuing training and research proposals previously approved by the I.A.C.U.C.
- Review and approve (or disapprove) any significant changes in the handling of animals for proposals previously approved by the IACUC
- Ensure that all handling and maintenance of animals follows the declarations in the proposals approved by the IACUC
The IACUC must consist of members of the Institution using animals, a veterinarian, and a member of the outside community who has no professional involvement with animal use. One of the members should have some experience with ethics. Currently the members of the IACUC are:
- David Stock, Ph.D.; professor of biology and chair of the IACUC
- Derek Barkalow, Ph.D.; associate professor of biology
- Grady Ballenger, Ph.D.; professor of English
- Toni Blum, Ph.D.; professor of psychology and associate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences
- Dr. J. Emmett Smith; veterinarian and small animal specialist
- Mr. McKinley Brown, Ph.D.; manager of toxicology (retired), Sherwood Medical Industries
- Ms. Susanna Trittschuh, elementary school teacher (retired), Community Representative
Who Must Submit Animal Use Proposals
Any individual or Department proposing to use living vertebrate organisms in their research or training must submit a proposal to the IACUC for review and approval. Details of this procedure are given in the following section. Before a proposal can be reviewed, individuals involved in handling and using vertebrate animals must complete a course to introduce one to the Animal Welfare Act and its responsibilities, proper handling of the animals used most widely at Stetson, and the potential of the spread of zoonoses (diseases spread by nonhuman vertebrates). This course will be offered twice a year at the beginning of each semester. The course will require about two hours, and participants will receive a certificate of completion. The time and date of this animal handling course will be widely published on campus. In addition to published notices one may contact a member of the IACUC who will know of the date and time. Depending on the proposed project, the IACUC may require an applicant to have a medical evaluation and present evidence of a current tetanus vaccination before the IACUC will approve a project. See the Chair of the IACUC when one is beginning to formulate a project to determine if human health issues must be evaluated.
Preparation and Submission of Research and Training Proposals Using Vertebrates
The IACUC will examine most intensely the components of your proposal that involve doing anything with vertebrate organisms. We recommend you explore the Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals, a publication of the National Research Council on permanent reserve in the Library, before you start your proposal.
- We shall look at how you will house and care for your experimental animals.
- Where these animals will be housed, including the room and building where the animals will be housed.
- The measurements of the cages in which the animals will be placed.
- How will the animals be fed and watered
- How will the cages be cleaned and the waste disposed.
- Explain in detail why you must use animals in your experiment.
- Give references from original literature to justify your use of these animals or their anatomical parts.
- Give exactly how you will be manipulating the animals. Please refrain from using jargon; several members of the IACUC are not professional scientists.
- Use diagrams of unusual devices used in your experiment or complicated manipulations that must be preformed on the animals.
- Indicate how your procedures will minimize discomfort to the animals.
- Indicate what will happen to the animals at the end of your experiments.
- How will animal parts or carcasses be disposed if these occur in your experiments?
- If the animals are to remain alive after your experiments, indicate this and tell us what will happen to the animals.
- If native Florida animals are taken from the wild, they must be returned to their site of capture at the end of experimentation. The IACUC will reject any proposal that does not assure that the preceding statement will be met.
- There is always a possibility that disease can develop among the animals you are using.
- How will you know if your animals are healthy?
- If you notice any illness in your animals, you must notify the IACUC Chair, so a veterinarian can be obtained to examine the ill animals.
- Ill animals must be isolated to prevent any spread of that illness.
- Failure to take these actions could result in immediate suspension of your project.
The IACUC will meet four times a year to review proposals. These meetings will be in September, early December, February, and late April. Proposals may be submitted at any time; however, proposals received within two weeks of the meeting date will be held until the next reviewing date. It behooves one to start the process early.
Submit proposals electronically to the IACUC Chair when the items mentioned above have been completed. Please use MicroSoft Office 2003 Programs in preparing your proposal. The Chair will review your proposal to see that you have included all the information the IACUC needs to make its decision. The Chair will return your proposal with suggested corrections or clarifications. Upon resubmission the Chair will send your proposal electronically to the rest of the IACUC for their examination. Your proposal will be reviewed by the IACUC as a whole at their next meeting. After that meeting the Chair will communicate the IACUC's decision to you.
Semi-annual Reports to IACUC
For projects lasting more than six months the investigator or course instructor must submit a semi-annual report of continuing activity. A form to complete for this report is provided elsewhere at this website. Semi-annual reports will be submitted for the December and April meetings of the IACUC.
Other Reference Materials on Reserve in the Library
- Title 9 – Animals and Animal Products: Chapter I, Subchapter A, Parts 1, 2, and 3 – Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, Department of Agriculture (Animal Welfare Act). PDF available from the Government Printing Office
- Education and Training in the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals: A Guide for Developing Institutional Programs. 1991. National Academy Press, Washington, DC.
- Occupational Health and Safety in the Care and Use of Research Animals. 1997. National Academy Press, Washington, DC.
- Public Health Service Policy on Humane Care and Use of Laboratory Animals. 2002. Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD. PDF available from the National Institutes of Health