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Investigator Responsibilities

When vertebrate animals (or vertebrate animal specimens) are used in teaching, demonstrations, research or product testing, all federal, state and University animal care and use regulations must be followed. A complete listing of policies and procedures is available on this website. The following is a quick reference list of your major responsibilities as a user of animals: 

  1. An approved animal care and use protocol must be in place to cover all animal procedures PRIOR to the University accepting a grant or contract, creating a budget for that grant or contract, animals being ordered on relevant grants or contracts, or procedures implemented on animals themselves. A permanent copy is maintained by the IACUC, but the investigator should also maintain a reference copy to ensure that only approved procedures are being conducted.
  2. All changes to a protocol must be approved PRIOR to their implementation. Minor changes (personnel other than the PI) may be approved by IACUC staff. Significant changes require review and approval by the IACUC. Significant change includes but is not limited to:
        1. changes in study objectives,
        2. changes in animal numbers or species,
        3. changes in the level of pain or distress incurred by the animals (ie., changes in the degree of invasiveness of a procedure or discomfort to an animal; changes from non-survival to survival surgery; changes in the duration, frequency, or number of procedures performed on an animal),
        4. changes in drug usage from that specified in the protocol,
        5. changes in the principal investigator. 

  3. It is the principal investigator's responsibility to ensure that all personnel performing procedures have been adequately trained to perform the procedures with which they will be involved, including completing IACUC required training. Documentation of investigator provided training must be maintained.
  4. Complete health and experimental procedure records must be maintained for each animal. Group records are sufficient for routine management items such as vaccinations and castration, but must be kept on an individual basis for anesthetic procedures, surgeries, and treatment of unexpected medical conditions. These records are subject to review by the IACUC or the USDA upon request.
  5. All records must be maintained for at least 3 years past the end of the funding period or the life of the animal, whichever is longer.