Overview of Ethical Requirements
- When live animals are used in research, there must be a reasonable expectation that such utilization will contribute to the enhancement of human or animal health, the advancement of knowledge, or the good of society. The benefits of the research must clearly outweigh any pain, discomfort, and distress experienced by the animals.
- It is the responsibility of the investigator to consider the source of the animal and to ensure that all animals used for experimental purposes are lawfully acquired.
- The investigator has an ethical obligation to seek the least painful techniques feasible to obtain the protocol objectives. The pain, discomfort and distress should be monitored using behavioral signs based on the normal behavior pattern of the species under study.
- Appropriate anesthetics, analgesics, and tranquilizers must be used if the procedure will cause more than slight momentary pain or distress to the animal. This pertains to pain or discomfort that may be experienced during, as well as after, the procedure, until such time when the pain is either alleviated or reduced to an acceptable tolerance level. If the use of anesthetics and/or analgesics will compromise the scientific validity of the experiment, the deletion of these drugs must be based on scientific fact or experimental data which can be referenced.
- Physical restraints should not be used on awake animals. If such a procedure is necessary, the animal should be conditioned to the restraint prior to beginning the experiment. Prolonged physical restraint of awake animals should be avoided.
- Adequate post surgical/procedural care for the animal is the responsibility of the investigator.
- Any proposed use of Euthanasia must be consistent with recommendations of the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) panel on Euthanasia. Such measures include a quick, painless death for the animal. If the animals will not be euthanized at the completion of the experiment, it is the responsibility of the investigator to assure that the final disposition of the animal is both humane and acceptable.
- The committee shall review any areas or situations not covered by these standards.