Animal Subjects

3. Why must animals be used for research studies and teaching?

Like at all research institutions that utilize animals, UMass Amherst faculty requesting use of live animals in studies and classes must demonstrate that the whole organism must be used in order to study the interaction of different physiological processes in living systems.

11. Where do the laboratory animals live on the campus?

The laboratory animals live in facilities at several sites, in quarters approved by the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC), which are monitored and inspected regularly for compliance with federal animal welfare laws. Facilities are located as close as possible to the classrooms and laboratories where the animals are used to minimize transportation stress. Heating, ventilation, air conditioning, humidity, lighting, and access are carefully controlled to maintain the health of the colonies.

10. How often are the animals checked in their cages, watered and fed, and cleaned?

Animal Care staff check animals for health and well-being, and provide water and food, every day of the year, including weekends and holidays. The Director of Animal Care/Attending Veterinarian observes all the animals at least once per week. Cleaning is performed on a regular schedule to provide the animals with the best possible environment and to comply with species-specific requirements of the federal animal welfare laws.

5. Who oversees animal use on campus?

The UMass Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) reviews all classroom and research projects, whether sponsored or unsponsored, to ensure the humane care and use of animals. This includes classroom exercises and demonstrations as well as all research projects, including student projects.

6. Who oversees animal care on campus?

The Attending Veterinarian/Director of Animal Care Services works with a team of professionals, including clinical veterinary staff, husbandry technicians, and compliance experts, to oversee animal care on campus. Together with the IACUC, these skilled employees ensure proper care, health, and welfare of all animals used in research and teaching on campus.

8. How are issues of non-compliance handled?

UMass complies with the Public Health Service (PHS) policy, including self-regulation and self-reporting. Issues of non-compliance may be found during the required semi-annual inspections, during routine post-approval monitoring, or through individual reporting of concerns. Examples of non-compliance may be found on the NIH website.

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