Anyone concerned with an animal’s
welfare or aware of non-compliance with the policies, rules, regulations,
and laws regarding animal care and use for research and teaching should
contact anyone in the IACUC administration (link), the IACUC Chair at
273-9537, or the Attending Veterinarian at 273-9246. Reporting an incident
of suspected non-compliance or mistreatment of animals will initiate an
investigation by the IACUC. Complainants may remain anonymous. UF student
and employee “whistle-blowers” are protected by Federal Law
and University Policy.
Each IACUC member, alternate, consultant, and staff member is responsible
for referring any complaints received to the IACUC Chair (or the Chair’s
delegate) for investigation. If the complaint is made in writing or via
email it must be delivered/forwarded to the Chair with a note indicating
the date of receipt by the IACUC member or office. If the complaint is
made by telephone, the individual receiving the complaint shall make a
note of the name and number of the caller, direct the caller to the Chair,
and contact the Chair to make sure the complaint was received. All allegations
of animal mistreatment will be taken seriously and investigated even if
the complainant refuses/declines to disclose his or her identity.
The Chair will assign a subcommittee of IACUC members to conduct an investigation
of the allegation(s) and report its findings. The subcommittee may consist
of consultants, veterinarians, or other experts as needed. The subcommittee
will gather all relevant information and conduct interviews with the involved
individual(s) and the complainant(s) (if not an anonymous complaint).
Once the investigation is concluded a preliminary report will be prepared
which outlines the essential details of the potential non-compliance,
the findings of the subcommittee, and the recommendations concerning appropriate
action for correction and prevention of future non-compliances.
The report is submitted to the IACUC for presentation and discussion at
a convened full committee meeting. The IACUC will provide the preliminary
report to the individual(s) involved and invite them to the convened meeting
to respond to any questions of the committee. The IACUC will consider
all information available and make a recommendation concerning appropriate
action(s). The scope of the investigation and recommendations will be
limited to all aspects of the welfare, care and use of animals. The Chair
will notify the responsible individual(s) involved, the department chair
or unit administrator for the responsible individual(s) involved and the
appropriate administrators of the IACUC’s decision.
The Institutional Official (UF Vice-President for Research and Graduate
Programs) will be notified of the IACUC’s actions and recommendations.
If the IACUC determines this is a reportable incident, the Compliance
Officer will report the details and the corrective actions taken to the
Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare (OLAW) on behalf of the Institutional
Official. If the incident involved an USDA covered species and resulted
in a suspension of the protocol, the USDA and any Federal funding agency
will also be notified. The University administration may take additional
action in accordance with other pertinent University policies and/or regulations.