Flexibilities for Animal Facility Inspections

Funding News Edition: September 01, 2021
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To: Members of Institutional Animal Care and Use Committees (IACUCs); Investigators working with vertebrate animals

Re: Reducing burden for semiannual inspections

For those who may have missed it last month, NIH published Guidance on Flexibilities for Conducting Semiannual Inspections of Animal Facilities. The notice provides assured institutions with flexibilities that may reduce administrative burden when conducting semiannual animal facility inspections.

Institutions may use these flexibilities either alone or in combination to meet their needs and circumstances, provided that animal welfare and the quality and rigor of the inspection are not compromised. Flexibilities include the following. Read the notice for the complete list and additional information.

  • The timing of facility inspections can include flexibility of within 30 calendar days of the six-month interval from the last inspection, provided there is no forward drift of the date from year to year.
  • IACUCs may choose whether the inspections are unannounced or if advanced notification is provided to relevant personnel.
  • IACUCs may use videos, photographs, written descriptions, or other appropriate remote methods to inspect facilities housing species not regulated by the Animal Welfare Act.

If you have questions or concerns, email OLAW at olaw@mail.nih.gov or call 301-496-7163.

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