Safety Net #40 “Health and Safety Hazards:
A Students Right to Know”: Students have a right to be informed about hazards they may encounter while pursuing their education and what measures to take to protect themselves. Students must receive information and training about chemical, biological, radiological, and physical hazards. There are potential risks associated with working with animals – physical injury, allergies and zoonoses. If you would like more information, contact Cowell Student Health Center (530-752-2300) to discuss medical issues with a health care specialist. You may obtain helpful information from the Zoonosis Information by Species. This tool provides information regarding zoonotic diseases for several species. It is important to note, you should always wash your hands after working with animals and wear the appropriate protective clothing recommended by your instructor or supervisor.
University policy specifies that:
- all animals under University care (that is, involved in projects under the auspices or sponsorship of the University) will be treated humanely;
- prior to their inception, all animal projects receive approval by the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC);
- UC Davis will comply with state and federal regulations regarding animal use and care.
Animal Care and Use Protocol:
Every project involving the use of live, vertebrate animals must have an approved Animal Care and Use Protocol. You should read any protocol you are working on to help you understand the project and procedures. Prior to approval every protocol must meet the 3 R’s –
- Reduction: Demonstrate how the investigator attempted to reduce the total numbers of animals used
- Refinement: Demonstrate what techniques were considered to reduce the pain and distress to which an animal is subjected
- Replacement: Demonstrate what alternatives to animals were considered to replace the animal model
There is also a 4th R – RESPONSIBILITY: Any person working with a live, vertebrate animal has the responsibility to show respect, care and concern for the animal’s comfort and well being.
The Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee:
Animal Care and Use Program Oversight - The UC Davis Animal Care and Use Program follows federal and state guidelines and policies. If you would like specific information or have questions, please do not hesitate to contact the IACUC Office. Following is a brief description of the Animal Care and Use Program.
- The Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee, or IACUC, is a committee appointed by the Institutional Official. The Institutional Official relies on the IACUC to oversee the program, to develop plans to correct program deficiencies, to address concerns that may arise regarding the institution's use of animals, and to make recommendations with regard to the program.
- The IACUC oversees the specific use of animals by reviewing Animal Care and Use Protocols. All animal research activity must be reviewed and approved by the IACUC before it begins. All animal facilities, laboratories and study areas are inspected by the IACUC staff.
- It is the responsibility of the institution to ensure that all personnel involved in animal care and use are appropriately qualified to perform their duties and conduct proposed activities. The IACUC evaluates the adequacy of the experience of all personnel listed on an Animal Care and Use Protocol and may require additional training when necessary.
The IACUC has a mandate to evaluate concerns regarding the care and use of animals at the University of California, Davis. Concerns may be raised by staff, employees, students or volunteers of the institution, or individuals in the community. The IACUC is cognizant of the rights of whistle blowers, which prohibits discrimination against or reprisal for reporting violations of regulations or standards.
The humane care and use of animals is of paramount importance. Individuals who have specific concerns about the treatment of animals may report their observations to their supervisor, the Office of the Attending Veterinarian or the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee for investigation. Individuals reporting concerns should try to be as specific as possible and include the date, time, species involved, specific animal identification numbers, and the names of University personnel. Reports may be made anonymously.
For more information and to access the “UC Davis Institutional Animal Care and Use Concern Reporting Form”, view the Reports of Animal Care and Use Concerns page.
Other University Policies:
The IACUC has developed several policies and guidelines designed to assist researchers in complying with the various regulations and ensuring the health and welfare of animals at the University. All persons involved with animals research should familiarize themselves with the policies which pertain to the projects they are working on.