Regulations and Guidelines

The University of Texas at Arlington complies with the NIH Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals and employs trained staff to work in the University vivarium.

Safeguarding the welfare of animals in research and related activities is of prime concern to The University of Texas at Arlington and shall be a responsibility of persons at all levels, including faculty, staff and students. All such personnel will be held accountable for actions or lack thereof related to the care and use of laboratory animals in research activities. It is the policy of this University to maintain appropriate review of procedures for the humane care of laboratory animals. Further, the University endeavors to provide regulatory and guidelines information to research animal users to ensure they remain compliant.

Links to these guidelines and/or regulations have been provided to assist faculty, staff, and students in performing vertebrate animal procedures in a humane manner and complying with pertinent regulatory requirements.

UTA’s Animal Care and Use Program conform to the regulations and/or guidelines in:

  • Animal Welfare Act The US Congress established this Act to ensure that all animals are provided humane care and treatment.
  • Public Health Service (PHS) Policy This policy is intended to ensure that PHS grantees and contractors care for and use animals humanely
  • The Guide The Guide provides guidelines to institutions in caring for and using animals in ways judged to be scientifically, technically, and humanely appropriate. It further assists investigators in fulfilling their obligation to plan and conduct animal experiments in accordance with the highest scientific, humane, and ethical principles.

The NIH Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals defines euthanasia as “the procedure of killing animals rapidly and painlessly”. Techniques used for euthanasia must be chosen to assure that a rapid loss of consciousness will occur followed shortly by death without pain or significant distress being perceived by the animal.

Methods of euthanasia used will be consistent with the recommendations of the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) Panel on Euthanasia unless a deviation is justified for scientific reasons in writing by the investigator.

Euthanasia techniques must be reviewed and approved by the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) during review and approval of the submitted protocol application form.

It is recommended that a secondary physical method such as decapitation, cervical dislocation or thoracotomy be used to assure death in birds and mammals.

Other sources of information regarding euthanasia include:

In accordance with Title 9, Code of federal Regulations, Subchapter A, Parts 1 through 3, Animal Welfare Act; Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals; and the National Institutes of Health Publication 92-3415, Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee Guidebook, the scientific need for the performance of multiple survival surgery is to be examined by the UTA IACUC at the time of the initial and continuing review of all research protocols involving the use of animals. Efforts are made to avoid multiple major survival surgeries in research protocols using animal subjects. Please refer to the UTA's IACUC Policy and Procedures for further more information.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture Animal Welfare Act (AWA) regulations define field research as: "…a study conducted on free-living wild animals in their natural habitat. However, this term excludes any study that involves an invasive procedure, harms, or materially alters the behavior of an animal under study."

If animals studied in a field research project are confined in any way, if an invasive procedure is involved, or if the behavior of the animals is harmed or materially altered, then the field study is regulated and must comply with the regulations and standards. If the field study involves SOLELY invertebrates, or the salvage of dead vertebrates, it does not need to be reviewed by the IACUC.

Please refer to the section above for species-specific guidelines for field research.

The University of Texas at Arlington Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee has also developed several SOPs for various aspects of animal research. They can be found on UTA's IACUC Policy and Procedures page.

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