Oklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences
Oklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences

News Alert:

Research - Animal Use

Animal Welfare Concerns

Reporting the mistreatment of animals and deficiencies at OSU-CHS

It is the policy of OSU-CHS that the care, use and treatment of university-owned laboratory animals should be of high quality and in compliance with all federal, state, and local regulations. The law requires that all persons involved or in any way associated with the use of animals in research know how to report deficiencies in animal care and treatment. There are no restrictions on who can report an alleged incident.

Anyone who has knowledge of such a deficiency is obligated to report it to the proper OSU-CHS official immediately. Under no circumstances will reporting such incidences in good faith be detrimental to an individual's standing within the organization.

  1. DEFINITION: Allegations of animal mistreatment or deficiencies in care include the following: 1. The wrongful or abusive physical or psychological treatment of an animal. 2. Non-compliance with established procedures, policies or approved protocols.
  2. PROCEDURES: Any person with knowledge of deficiencies or with reasonable suspicions of deficiencies or mistreatment involving OSU-CHS laboratory animals is obligated to report them directly to the Chair of the OSU-CHS Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC), any member of the IACUC, the Laboratory Animal Resources Manager, or the Institutional Official. Timely reporting is essential to protect the animals involved and to aid the investigation of the allegations.
    1. Neither administrative action nor retribution of any kind may be taken against a person making a good faith report of deficiencies. This is in accordance with public law [9 CFR, Part 2, Subpart C 2.32 (c) (4)].
    2. Reports of suspected deficiencies should be made in writing whenever possible and should include, but need not be limited to, the nature and the place of the occurrence, the alleged person or persons involved, the date, the time, and any supporting facts.
    3. If a person actually witnesses mistreatment or abuse, the witness will immediately notify the Veterinarian, the IACUC Chair or the Institutional Official, so that the animal or animals involved can be evaluated and receive medical treatment if necessary. The person should then report the incident through channels as described above.
    4. The IACUC will investigate allegations and report its findings and recommendations to the Institutional Official in a timely fashion.
    5. Individuals who wish to file their concerns through a different avenue may use the organization “Ethics Point”, which is supported by the OSU system.  Reports to Ethics Point can be made via internet at http://www.ethicspoint.com or by toll-free telephone at 1-866-294-8624.
  3. Details of any reports or allegations of deficiencies, findings or recommendations of the IACUC, as well as administrative or legal actions taken by the committee are considered privileged information and may be released only through official channels, or as required by law.
  4. Willful mistreatment or abuse of animals may be grounds for suspension of all animal use activities or approved protocols involved, or other disciplinary actions. Disciplinary action may be appealed.
  5. This policy (Reporting the Mistreatment of Animals and Deficiencies at OSU-CHS) will be distributed to all personnel involved in any way in animal research at or through OSU-CHS facilities. Principal investigators will be responsible to assure that all personnel involved in research activities under their direction are aware of the above procedures.

    Statutory authority for this policy is found in the 1985 Amendment to The Animal Welfare Act Title 7, United States Code, Section 2131-2156, PL-99-198. The act requires that "...training for scientists, animal technicians, and other personnel involved with animal care... shall include...methods whereby deficiencies in animal care and treatment should be reported."
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