Valdosta State University Policy on Humane Care and Use of Laboratory Animals

The use of animals in scientific research has been, and continues to be, a major source of new knowledge, the development and testing of new drugs and the perfection of techniques before they are used in humans. It is the policy of Valdosta State University that all students and faculty should understand that using animals in research is a privilege. Researchers have an obligation to use the best methods to ensure the well being of the animals. All persons using animals must be

  1. Familiar with the behavioral and physiologic characteristics of the species to be used,
  2. Aware of the requirements for humane care and methods used to prevent suffering or pain, and
  3. Able to perform the required procedures.

Anyone found to be in noncompliance with this policy will lose his/her privilege to work with animals and may be subject to disciplinary action.

In order to comply with federal regulations, all investigators using animals in research at Valdosta State University must address the following six items (these are similar to those appearing in NIH grant applications) WHICH ARE ADDRESSED IN THE VSU ANIMAL USE PROPOSAL (AUP) FORM:

  1. Provide a brief description of the proposed use of the animals in the work previously described in the research design and methods section. Identify species, strain/stock, age, sex and total number of each species of animals to be used in the proposed work. The use of additional animals is not permitted without additional IACUC review and approval.
  2. Provide the rationale for using animals, the choice of species, and a justification for the approximate numbers to be used. A statement must be included that alternatives to the use of animals have been considered.
  3. Provide information on the veterinary care of animals involved. The following statement may be used:

    "A veterinarian member of the VSU IACUC is available on an 'as needed' basis. All animal living conditions are consistent with standards required by AAALAC International (Association for Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care International). Techniques courses are provided by competent faculty researchers, lab assistants and through the services of the Compliance Coordinator, Grants and Contracts Office, for all personnel (investigators, technicians, students, etc) who work with the research animals."
  4. Valdosta State University does not condone any project involving pain without anesthesia/analgesia.
    1. Describe the procedures for ensuring that discomfort, distress, pain, and injury will be limited to that which is unavoidable in the conduct of scientifically sound research. Include the name of the drug(s), dosage, and route of administration. Also, provide examples of indications for the use of analgesics to relieve potential post surgical pain.
    2. The investigator must provide a written narrative of the source consulted to determine whether or not alternatives exist to each procedure, which may cause pain or distress. This narrative must include databases or other sources consulted (e.g., Medline, Index Medicus, Biological Abstracts, etc.) date of search, years covered by the search and keywords and/or search strategy used.
  5. Describe any euthanasia method to be used and the reasons for its selection (list name of drug, dosage and route of administration). State whether this method is consistent with the recommendations of the 1993 Panel on Euthanasia of the American Veterinary Medical Association. If the method is not consistent with these recommendations, present a scientific justification for its use.
  6. The investigator must assure the IACUC, in writing, that "A complete and thorough literature search has been done to verify that the proposed animal research activities do not duplicate previous experiments unnecessarily." This must include a statement that a literature search (type and date) has been performed.

For additional information, contact Ann Olphie, the Compliance Coordinator
Office of Sponsored Programs and Research Administration, Valdosta State University