Animal Welfare Concerns
The University of Virginia promotes the highest standards of animal care and use and is committed to the humane and responsible treatment of all animals being used for research, testing, or education. The University’s Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) is required by law to investigate reports of suspected animal abuse or mistreatment. If you observe or suspect animal abuse, mistreatment, or non-compliance with federal, state, or local regulations or non-compliance with an approved protocol, please report the incident. The IACUC will investigate and evaluate concerns raised by anyone regarding the care and use of animals at the University.
Animal Welfare concerns may be reported to:
Office of Animal Welfare
Animal Care and Use Committee
560 Ray C. Hunt Drive, suite 1201
Fontaine Research Park
In order to fully investigate your concern, please include as much information as possible surrounding the event such as: description of the incident, date and approximate time, location where incident occurred, names of individuals involved, and the animal protocol number. It is helpful if you provide your name and contact information in case the IACUC has further questions. However, you may make your complaint anonymously if you choose. Your complaint – whether made anonymously or not -- will be dealt with confidentially to the extent reasonably possible.
NOTE: The Federal Animal Welfare Act prohibits the discrimination or reprisal against any person reporting a violation of animal welfare regulations or standards. The Animal Welfare Act Regulations provide that “No facility employee, Committee member, or laboratory personnel shall be discriminated against or be subject to any reprisal for reporting violations of any regulations or standards under the Act.” (9 CFR § 2.32(c)(4)).
The University of Virginia also prohibits discrimination or retaliation against individuals who, in good faith, report concerns. (See policy refs below)
(From link above)
Federal Requirements Regarding the Reporting of Animal Care and Use Concerns: USDA -- ANIMAL WELFARE ACT (9 CFR Ch.1)
Part 2 - Subpart C
2.31 (c) IACUC Functions. With respect to activities involving animals, the IACUC, as an agent of the research facility shall:
(4) Review, and if warranted, investigate concerns involving the care and use of animals at the research facility resulting from public complaints received and from reports of noncompliance received from laboratory or research facility personnel or employees;
2.31 (d) (6) The IACUC may suspend an activity that it previously approved if it determines that an activity is not being conducted in accordance with the description of that activity provided by the principal investigator and approved by the Committee. The IACUC may suspend an activity only after review of the matter at a convened meeting of a quorum of the IACUC and with the suspension vote of a majority of the quorum present;
(7) If the IACUC suspends an activity involving animals, the Institutional Official, in consultation with the IACUC, shall review the reasons for suspension, take appropriate corrective action, and report that action with a full explanation to APHIS and any federal agency funding that activity.
2.32 Training and Instruction of personnel must include
(4) Methods whereby deficiencies in animal care and treatment are reported, including deficiencies in animal care are treatment reported by any employee of the facility. No facility employee, Committee members, or laboratory personnel shall be discriminated against or be subject to any reprisal for reporting violations or standards under the Act.
2.33 (2) Each research facility shall assure that the attending veterinarian has appropriate authority to ensure the provision of adequate veterinary care and to oversee the adequacy of other aspects of animal care and use. (USDA provides the authority and responsibility to the attending veterinarian to temporarily suspend an activity involving animals.)
PUBLIC HEALTH SERVICE POLICY (Implementation of Public Law 99-158)
B. Functions of the IACUC
4. Review concerns involving the care and use of animals at the Institution;
C. IACUC Review of PHS-conducted or Supported Research Projects
6. The IACUC may suspend an activity that it previously approved if it determines that the activity is not being conducted in accordance with applicable provisions of the Animal Welfare Act, the Guide, the institution's Assurance, or IV.C.l.a-g of this Policy. The IACUC may suspend an activity only after a review of the matter at a convened meeting of a quorum of the IACUC and with the Suspension vote of a majority of the quorum present.
7. If the IACUC suspends an activity involving animals, the Institutional Official in consultation with the IACUC shall review the reasons for suspension, take appropriate corrective action, and report that action with a full explanation to OLAW
F. Reporting Requirements
3. The IACUC, through the Institutional Official, shall promptly provide OLAW with a full explanation of the circumstances and actions taken with respect to: a. any serious or continuing noncompliance with this Policy; b. any serious deviation from the provisions of the Guide; c. any suspension of an activity by the IACUC.
Retaliation against those who report concerns (whistleblowers) is addressed in several University policies:
|HRM-010||Preventing and Addressing Retaliation|
|HRM-027||Resolving Grievances for University Staff Employees|
|HRM-028||Preventing and Addressing Threats or Acts of Violence|