The process for reporting a concern, and the institution’s procedure for investigating reports of concerns, is as follows:
- A list of campus individuals who can be contacted in the event of a concern about animal welfare is provided to all new animal users at the basic IACUC New User Training and new users are informed of protections afforded by Massachusetts "Whistle Blower" statutes. The instructor informs the new user that they can report a concern to anyone on the list and the report will be acted upon promptly.
- Reporting Animal Welfare Concerns
- The person receiving the complaint records a description of the problem and contact information from the person reporting the issue. If the person reporting the issue wishes to remain anonymous this is respected.
- The person receiving the complaint discusses it with the IACUC Chair (or Associate Chair in the Chair’s absence) on the same day and the Chair appoints an IACUC investigator to investigate the complaint.
- The investigator checks on the situation and reports his/her findings to the IACUC Chair within 24 hours.
- If the investigator finds no basis for the complaint the IACUC Chair communicates this finding to the person lodging the complaint if the person has provided contact information.
- If the investigator finds there is a basis for the complaint the IACUC Chair contacts the responsible person with a plan to correct the deficiency promptly.
- If the situation poses an immediate threat to the health or safety of the animals and the responsible person is not cooperative, the Chair convenes a special IACUC meeting with quorum to discuss the issue and decide on actions to be taken to remedy the problem. In the event the IACUC finds serious animal welfare issues that must be addressed immediately the IACUC may vote to suspend the activity involving animals pending resolution of the problem.
OLAW, USDA, and Federal and/or private funding agencies are notified, as required by federal law or agreements with funding agencies, of significant deficiencies and/or suspension, with a timetable for correction.