The Division of Intramural Research (DIR) complies with the U.S. Government Principles for the Utilization and Care of Vertebrate Animals, the Public Health Service (PHS) Policy on Humane Care and Use of Laboratory Animals, the Animal Welfare Act, and all applicable Animal Welfare Regulations.
The DIR Animal Care and Use program complies with the Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals and operates in accord with the NIH Animal Research Advisory Committee (ARAC) Guidelines, except where the latter are superseded by approved DIR Animal Care and Use Committee (ACUC) policy.
The ACUC is a federally mandated committee, appointed by the NIAID director of intramural research, that ensures the care and use of animals is appropriate, humane, and in accordance with animal welfare regulations. The ACUC oversees the animal program, facilities, and procedures, including the key functions of reviewing and approving requests to use animals in research under Animal Study Proposals (ASP). The ASP form is a required document, mandated by federal regulations, that describes and justifies in detail the use of animals in experiments.
All persons listed on the ASP must receive the appropriate training for the research being performed. The principal investigator is responsible for ensuring that everyone listed on the ASP, including him or herself, receives the appropriate training and completes a Training and Experience Form (available to NIAID employees on the intranet. For more information, email the ACUC Office). The principal investigator is also responsible for ensuring that each person listed on the ASP reviews and understands the content of the ASP and is familiar with the Comparative Medicine Branch and ACUC Internet and intranet sites.
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) Intramural Research Program Office of Animal Care and Use Training Resources outlines the minimal training requirements for principal investigators and other animal users.
The Animal Exposure Program (AEP) is administered by the NIH Occupational Medical Service, located in Bldg. 10 on the NIH main campus. OMS provides information on the AEP and coordinates enrollment. Completed AEP forms should be sent to the ACUC Office. For more information, email the ACUC Office.
Investigators and scientists requiring access to DIR-operated animal facilities must be on an approved ASP. Once they are added to an ASP, they are required to schedule an animal facility orientation. This orientation is coordinated through each of the animal facility managers for each of the facilities for which the investigator requires access.
The animal facility orientation will provide an overview of animal holding, technical services, and standard operating procedures. Investigators will be given a tour and an introduction to key personnel, such as the facility manager, facility veterinarian, technical team, and animal caretaker responsible for the animals.
After the investigator or scientist has completed the facility orientation requirements, he or she must obtain access to the specific building or room by providing identifying cardkey information to the Comparative Medicine Branch facility manager. This information will be forwarded to the DIR Animal Resources Program Manager, who will submit it to the NIH Division of Public Safety for processing.
For additional information about animal study proposals and animal welfare concerns, email the ACUC Office.
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Last Updated March 31, 2014