Volume II: Campus Community

2.22 Assurance of Compliance with Public Health Service (PHS) Policy on Humane Care and Use of Laboratory Animals

2.22 Assurance of Compliance with Public Health Service (PHS) Policy on Humane Care and Use of Laboratory Animals

Ithaca College, hereinafter referred to as institution, hereby gives assurance that it will comply with the NIH Public Health Service Policy on Humane Care and Use of Laboratory Animals, hereinafter referred to as "PHS Policy."

2.22.1 Applicability

This assurance is applicable to all research, research training, experimentation, and biological testing and related activities, hereinafter referred to as activities, involving live, vertebrate animals supported by Public Health Service (PHS) and conducted at this institution, or at another institution as a consequence of subgranting or subcontracting of a PHS-conducted or supported activity by this institution. The College affirms that all who care for, use, or produce animals for research or testing must assume responsibility for their well-being.

2.22.2 Institutional Policy

  1. This institution will comply with all applicable provisions of the Animal Welfare Act and other federal statutes and regulations relating to animals and will provide the necessary resources to manage the program of veterinary care.
     
  2. This institution is guided by the "U.S. Government Principles for the Utilization and Care of Vertebrate Animals Used in Testing, Research, and Training."
     
  3. This institution acknowledges and accepts responsibility for the care and use of animals involved in activities covered by this Assurance. As partial fulfillment of this responsibility this institution will make a reasonable effort to ensure that all individuals involved in the care and use of laboratory animals understand their individual and collective responsibilities for compliance with this Assurance as well as other applicable laws and regulations pertaining to animal care and use.
     
  4. This institution has established and will maintain a program for activities involving animals in accordance with the Eighth Edition of the Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals (hereinafter, "Guide").

2.22.3 Institutional Program for Animal Care and Use

  1. The line of authority and responsibility for administering the program and ensuring compliance with this policy can be found in the Line of Authority chart.
     
  2. The qualifications, authority, and percent of time contributed by veterinarian(s) who will participate in the program are:

    Dr. Carolyn McMaster received her training in veterinary medicine at Cornell University in 1978, where she completed coursework in laboratory animal care. Dr. McMaster also has over 30 years of experience diagnosing and treating laboratory and exotic species in her veterinary practice.

    Dr. McMaster provides expert direction for the overall supervision of the laboratory animals at Ithaca College. She has delegated the normal day-to-day maintenance of the animals to the animal caretaker, who is regularly supervised by the IACUC chair. Dr. McMaster conducts regularly scheduled visits (at least two per year) and unscheduled visits (at least two per year) to the animal facilities in addition to serving as a member of IACUC. Dr. McMaster notifies the chair of the IACUC in the event of any discrepancies from the normal policy of animal husbandry and care. It is the chair's responsibility to assure expeditious remedy of the situation. Dr. McMaster retains the prerogative of ordering or personally undertaking the necessary actions to ensure that no animal undergoes inhumane treatment or suffering. It is estimated that she devotes 2 percent of her time to these tasks.

    The animal facilities are inspected at least once a year by a veterinarian employed by New York State. These are unannounced visits. Copies of the results of these inspections are provided for the IACUC chair and Dr. McMaster.

    In addition, the services of the diagonstic center at the Cornell University Veterinary School are readily available. This service can be utilized for necropsy interpretation and advice on special problems.
     
  3. This institution has established an Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC), which is qualified through the experience and expertise of its members to oversee the institution's animal program, facilities, and procedures. The IACUC consists of at least five members, and its membership meets the compositional requirements set forth in the PHS Policy at IV.A.3.b.
     
  4. The IACUC will:
     
    1. Review at least once every six months the institution's program for humane care and use of animals, using the Guide as a basis for evaluation.

      The IACUC procedures for conducting semiannual program evaluations are:  Any changes in normal animal care procedures are submitted in writing to the members of the committee at least two weeks prior to the semiannual meeting. All changes to procedure are voted on by the entire committee, with any absent members submitting their vote and/or concerns in writing to the chair.
       
    2. Inspect at least once every six months all of the institution's animal facilities (including satellite facilities) using the Guide as the basis for evaluation.

      The IACUC procedures for conducing semiannual facility inspections are:  All committee members attending the semiannual meetings inspect all animal housing facilities with the animal care staff, veterinarian, and chair of the IACUC. Any concerns are noted and corrected under the guidance of the chair.
       
    3. Prepare reports of the IACUC evaluations as set forth in the PHS Policy at IV.B.3. and submit the reports to the provost and vice president for educational affairs.

      The IACUC procedure for developing reports and submitting them to the institutional official is:  Minutes of the semiannual IACUC meeting and inspections are submitted, including any minority opinions. A list of all approved protocols is also included and submitted by the IACUC chair to the institutional official.
       
    4. Review concerns involving the care and use of animals at the institution.

      The IACUC procedures for reviewing concerns are:  Individual concerns about animal care can be submitted to any member of the IACUC committee. All concerns are presented to the chair, who discusses them with the veterinarian, and if necessary, the animal caretakers and the principal investigator using the animals. If deemed necessary by the chair, a meeting of the IACUC can be called to discuss the concerns. Any necessary changes in animal care or use can be mandated by the IACUC, with no reprisals to the reporting individual. The IACUC shall provide every animal facility manager and principal investigator with a notice describing how to report concerns regarding animal care. This information shall also be posted in a visible location and will be maintained on the website. In addition, the Ithaca College Whistleblower Policy (section 2.34, Ethics and Integrity) states that complaints may be made anonymously. Complaints shall be dealt with confidentially to the extent reasonably possible. No member of the College is subject to any reprisal for reporting any suspected violations.
       
    5. Make written recommendations to the provost and vice president for educational affairs regarding any aspect of the institution's animal program, facilities, or personnel training.

      The procedures for making recommendations to the institutional official are:  The IACUC chair will submit recommendations, as approved by the IACUC, to the institutional official regarding changes in animal care procedures, facilities, or personnel training.
       
    6. Review and approve, require modifications of (to secure approval) or withhold approval of those activities related to the care and use of animals as set forth in the PHS Policy at IV.C.

      The IACUC procedures for protocol review are:  Animal protocols involving live vertebrate animals are submitted by the principal investigator to the chair of the IACUC at least two weeks prior to the scheduled IACUC review. These protocols include a project description (suitable for non-scientists), a statement of the purpose of the project, a rationale for the use of animals and the number of animals used, an explanation of why a non-living model is not appropriate, certification that this project does not duplicate previous studies, a description of how the animals will be used and cared for and what means are taken to ensure a minimum of discomfort and suffering of the animals, and how the animals will be disposed of at the end of the study. All members of the IACUC review each protocol and vote for either (1) approval, (2) approval with revisions, or (3) rejection. No member may participate in the IACUC review or approval of a protocol in which the member has a conflicting interest (e.g., is personally involved in the project) except to provide information requested by the IACUC; nor may a member who has a conflicting interest contribute to the constitution of the quorum. Protocols requiring revisions are given two weeks to make the necessary changes. The revised protocols are reviewed by the chair, and at least one other committee member, prior to final approval. All IACUC meetings must have a quorum for protocol reviews. Members unable to attend will submit their comments and votes in writing to the chair prior to the meeting. In cases where expedited review is necessary, such as initial laboratories involving animals for new teaching labs, or amendments to current active protocols, the chair will assign one committee member to serve as the designated reviewer of the protocol. In addition, the protocols are distributed to the entire committee and any committee member may request a full committee review. If no concerns are raised by the general membership and both the designated reviewer and the veterinarian recommend approval, the protocol will be approved by the chair. If any IACUC member raises concerns, a full review by the IACUC will be convened.
       
    7. Review and approve, require modifications of (to secure approval) or withhold approval of proposed significant changes regarding the use of animals in ongoing activities as set forth in the PHS Policy at IV.C.

      The IACUC procedures for reviewing proposed significant changes in ongoing research projects are:  Proposed changes and concerns are submitted to the IACUC by the principal investigator (PI). The PI will submit a protocol to the committee for review and the review will follow the procedures outlined previously. If the changes require expedited review, the chair will assign one committee member to serve as the designated reviewer. The protocol is also submitted to the entire committee and any committee member may request a full committee review. If no concerns are raised by the general membership and both the designated reviewer and the veterinarian recommend approval, the protocol will be approved by the chair. If any IACUC member raises concerns, a full review by the IACUC will be convened.
       
    8. Notify investigators and the institution in writing of its decision to approve or withhold approval of those activities related to the care and use of animals, or of modifications required to secure IACUC approval as set forth in the PHS Policy at IV.C.4.

      The IACUC procedures to notify investigators and the institution of its decisions regarding protocol review are:  The chair of the IACUC informs all investigators of the decisions regarding submitted protocols in writing immediately after the IACUC meeting. Any protocols not approved by the IACUC are notified in writing as to the reasons for rejection. Rejected protocols must be revised and re-reviewed by the entire IACUC to obtain approval for the animal use. A summary of all protocol decisions are forwarded to the Institutional Official.
       
    9. Conduct continuing review of each previously approved, ongoing activity covered by PHS Policy at appropriate intervals as determined by the IACUC, including a complete review in accordance with the PHS Policy at IV.C. 1-4 at least once every three years.

      The IACUC procedures for conducting review are:  Protocols funded by federal agencies can be approved for a maximum of a three year period. Any funded protocols that continue beyond the three year period will need to submit a protocol for review by the IACUC for animal use to continue, as described in the procedures for protocol reviews. Unfunded protocols and protocols for teaching laboratories will be reviewed annually.
       
    10. Be authorized to suspend an activity involving animals as set forth in the PHS Policy at IV.C.6.

      The IACUC procedure for suspending an ongoing activity are: If necessary, the IACUC can suspend an ongoing activity. The investigator, all members of the IACUC, the Institutional Official, and the OLAW are notified of the suspension. The animal use cannot be resumed without full review by the IACUC and evidence that the corrective actions recommended by the IO and the IACUC have been implemented. A full report of any suspensions and corrective actions will be reported to the OLAW.
       
  5. The individual authorized by the institution to verify IACUC approval of those sections of the applications and proposals related to the care and use of animals is: The provost and vice president of educational affairs or designee.
     
  6. The occupational health and safety program for personnel who work in laboratory animal facilities or have frequent contact with animals is:  A new-employee screening is conducted to determine that employees are aware of the risk of workplace-related allergies, to verify they possess the necessary physical stamina to carry out the work, and to inform them of the procedures for health monitoring, accident prevention, and accident reporting. Currently, Ithaca College requires the animal care staff to receive a tuberculosis test at least once a year (or every six months if a staff member has received or will receive training at non-Ithaca College laboratories where TB may be an increased risk). They must demonstrate a negative test for tuberculosis (Tine test or other) or provide verification from their physician that the disease is in remission. In the latter case, a yearly verification will be required. The animal care staff also undergo a yearly physical examination at the Ithaca College Hammond Health Center. The physical may also be administered by the staff member's personal physician; verification is required in writing. Animal care staff are also vaccinated against tetanus. Ithaca College will provide two routine TB tests, tetanus vaccinations, and one routine physical, yearly, for animal care staff. Minor injuries resultant from on-the-job accidents are cared for at the Hammond Health Center. Injuries or illnesses requiring more than first-aid procedures may require immediate response by Campus Safety officers and are cared for by the Cayuga Medical Center Emergency Room or the employee's primary-care physician. An injurious accident or any disease suspected of being employment-related is to be reported in writing, within 24 hours, to the Ithaca College Office of Human Resources and the IACUC chair.

    Ithaca College Office of Environmental Health and Safety also holds programs on fire safety and hazardous materials safety, yearly. Protective equipment (lab coats, gloves, masks, etc.) are provided as needed, with consultation with the department of Environmental Health and Safety. Resources on occupational health and safety are kept in CNS 131 and regular review is required for animal care staff. Material Safety Data Sheets are kept in CNS 171.
     
  7. The total gross number of square feet in each animal facility (including each satellite facility), the species of animals housed therein and the average daily inventory, by species, of animals in each facility, are:

    Animal Facilities, Total Sq. Ft: 2,876

    See attached Facility and Species Inventory for breakdown of square footage and animal census.
     
  8. The training or instruction available to scientists, animal technicians, and other personnel involved in animal care, treatment, or use is:  All personnel involved in animal care and use must undergo training with the animal caretaker, or provide certification of previous training, prior to animal use. The animal caretaker provides a training session to all new animal users, particularly undergraduate research students, a minimum of three times a year. Principal investigators must provide sufficient proof of qualifications for animal use to the chair of the IACUC and the veterinarian (for invasive procedures) prior to beginning animal use. Any investigator lacking sufficient qualifications will be provided with appropriate training from the animal caretaker, IACUC chair, and/or veterinarian as needed. This training will include such topics as minimizing pain and distress and determination of animal number. When necessary, faculty and the IACUC chair can consult with experts at nearby Cornell Veterinary Medical School. Documentation of all individuals certified for animal use will be maintained with the IACUC records.
     
  9. IACUC Member Training

    Initial Training — All IACUC members must complete CITI training on the Essentials of IACUC. Training includes an overview of applicable federal government regulations.

    Continuing Education — For members who have previously completed the Essentials of IACUC training from CITI, training will need to be renewed every three years.

    Student researchers will also be required to complete CITI training in the Responsible Conduct of Research as well as Working with the IACUC.

2.22.4 Semiannual Reports

As specified in the PHS Policy at IV.A.2, as Category 2, all of this institution's programs and facilities, including satellite facilities, for activities involving animals have been evaluated by the IACUC and will be reevaluated by the IACUC at least once every six months in accord with IV.B.1. and 2. of the PHS Policy, and reports prepared in accord with IV.B.3. of the PHS Policy.

All IACUC semiannual reports will include a description of the nature and extent of this institution's adherence to the Guide. Any departures from the Guide will be identified specifically and reasons for each departure will be stated. Reports will distinguish significant deficiencies from minor deficiencies. Where program or facility deficiencies are noted, reports will contain a reasonable and specific plan and schedule for correcting each deficiency. Semiannual reports of the IACUC evaluations will be submitted to the provost and vice president of educational affairs. Semiannual reports of IACUC evaluations will be maintained by this institution and made available to the Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare (OLAW) upon request.

2.22.5 Record Keeping Requirements

  1. This institution will maintain for at least three years:
    1. A copy of this Assurance and any modifications thereto, as approved by PHS.
       
    2. Minutes of IACUC meetings, including records of attendance, activities of the committee, and committee deliberations.
       
    3. Records of applications, proposals, and proposed significant changes in the care and use of animals and whether IACUC approval was given or withheld.
       
    4. Records of semiannual IACUC reports and recommendations (including minority views) as forwarded to the provost and vice president of educational affairs.
       
    5. Records of accrediting body determinations.
       
  2. This institution will maintain records that relate directly to applications, proposals, and proposed changes in ongoing activities reviewed and approved by the IACUC for the duration of the activity and for an additional three years after completion of the activity.
     
  3. All records shall be accessible for inspection and copying by authorized OLAW or other PHS representatives and reasonable times and in a reasonable manner.

2.22.6 Reporting Requirements

  1. At least once every 12 months, the IACUC, through the Institutional Official, will report in writing to the Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare (OLAW).
    1. Any change in the status of the institution (e.g., if the institution becomes accredited by AAALAC or AAALAC is revoked), and change in description of the institution's program for animal care and use as described in this Assurance, or any changes in IACUC membership. If there are no changes to report, this institution will submit a letter to OLAW stating that there are no changes.
       
    2. Notification of the date that the IACUC conducted its semiannual evaluations of the institution's program and facilities (including satellite facilities) and submitted the evaluations to the appropriate dean.
       
  2. The IACUC, through the Institutional Official, will provide the OLAW promptly with a full explanation of the circumstances and actions taken with respect to:
    1. Any serious or continuing noncompliance with the PHS Policy;
       
    2. Any serious deviations from the provisions of the Guide;
       
    3. Any suspension of an activity by the IACUC.
       
  3. Reports filed under VI.A.2. and VI.B. above shall include any minority views filed by members of the IACUC.

Policy Addendum: Disaster Procedures

Emergency Animal Care Principles

In all emergencies, human life and safety will take precedence over animal life. The staff or animal users must not put themselves or their colleagues in danger in order to evacuate animals. The staff will work with the attending veterinarian to determine appropriate actions based on the individual emergency situation.

In the event of a large scale disaster, euthanasia of animals may be necessary. Euthanasia will be a last resort and will be conducted under the direction of the attending veterinarian.

Safety Information Principles

Access to the lab facilities is restricted in order to provide safety for the health and well-being of research animals and the personnel who work there. After hours, the facilities are protected by an alarm system and officers from Public Safety.

General Disaster Protocol for Animal ID, Triage, Transportation, or Euthanasia

Identification of genetically distinct or irreplaceable animals.

A system of cage/pen identification markers will be used. These markers will be a bright, reflective color stating "save me" applied to cage cards of animals identified by investigators for saving if at all possible.

Triage of Animal Populations

In the event of a major disaster affecting a localized group of animals or campus-wide disaster, injured or affected animals will be triaged by trained animal care personnel and/or emergency veterinary staff as long as human safety is not compromised. Those animals deemed savable will be treated on site if possible, and/or transported to suitable, predetermined locations for further care. Those with life-threatening injuries or conditions not amenable to recovery will be humanely euthanized on site by trained personnel.

Relocation/Transportation of Animals Following or During a Disaster, or Preemptive Movement in Case of an Impending Disaster with Warning

In the event animal removal/relocation from a building(s) is needed, traditional laboratory rodent and other colonies will be moved to other like animal-approved facilities on campus if possible. Others will be transported to the Veterinarian Offices off-campus.

Emergency Contacts and Equipment

All emergency police, fire, medical calls, etc. — 911

  • If called from a campus phone, 911 calls will access Ithaca College Public Safety; if called from cell phones or non-campus phones, 911 calls will reach local emergency dispatch.

All non-emergency police, fire, medical calls, etc. (to reach Public Safety) — 607-274-3333

CNS Lab Emergency Numbers

  • Head of Buildings — 607-274-1226
  • Campus Safety — 607-274-3333
  • Life Safety — 607-274-3157
  • Physical Plant — 607-274-3225
  • Environmental Health and Safety — 607-274-3353

Nearest Location of Spill Control Equipment: CNS 106
Nearest Fire Extinguisher: Inside Left of Lab Door
Nearest Fire Alarm Pull-Station: Turn left outside in Hall at the end.

Levels of Emergency

Emergencies can generally be classified into three levels:

Level I (Disaster)

A community-wide emergency that seriously impairs or halts the operation of Ithaca College. Outside emergency services would be needed. Major policy considerations and decisions would always be required.

Examples of a Level I disaster include, but are not limited to:

  • Mass casualties
  • Natural disaster such as an earthquake or tornado
  • Large-scale hazardous material spill
  • Health epidemics
  • Major weather emergency
  • Armed assailant
  • Utility failure
  • Workplace violence
Level II (Major Emergency – Depending on Circumstances)

A serious emergency that completely disrupts one or more operations of Ithaca College and may affect mission-critical functions or life safety. Outside emergency services, as well as major efforts from campus support services, would be required. Major policy considerations and decisions would usually be required.

Examples of a Level II major emergency include, but are not limited to:

  • Hostage situation
  • Major fire
  • Widespread power outage
  • Bomb threat
  • Laboratory explosion
  • Suicide
  • Death of a student, faculty, or staff member (depending on circumstances)
  • Rape (depending on circumstances)
  • Shooting or stabbing
  • National terrorist incident
  • Workplace violence
  • Public health threat
  • Severe weather
Level III (Minor Emergency)

A localized, contained incident that is quickly resolved with internal resources or limited help and does not affect the overall functioning capacity of Ithaca College.

Examples of a Level III minor emergency include, but are not limited to:

  • Small fire
  • Small hazardous material incident
  • Limited power outage

Last Revised: August 12, 2013