Policy on the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals

Academic Affairs

The University of South Carolina Aiken recognizes that the use of laboratory animals for teaching and research is fundamental to advances in the sciences. The momentum of discovery in the sciences has steadily increased, and the application of this new knowledge has brought incalculable benefits to society. Laboratory animals have played an indispensable role in these advances, and for the foreseeable future will continue to be essential to the success of our research and training programs.

The University recognizes that laboratory animals are sentient creatures. Their use is a privilege accompanied by an ethical and legal obligation for their humane care and handling. Individuals whose work requires them to use animals in research or instruction must understand and be committed to fulfilling the legal and moral responsibilities of such use.

The University endorses the Principles for the Utilization and Care of Vertebrate Animals of the National Institutes of Health; has implemented the recommendations of The Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals (National Academy Press, 1996); and is complying, and will continue to comply, with the Animal Welfare Act and other applicable laws and regulations concerning the care and use of laboratory animals.

In accordance with the above, particular care is given to the following.

  1. All animals used at UofSC Aiken are lawfully acquired.
  2. All animals at UofSC Aiken will be treated humanely, properly fed and cared for, and their surroundings kept in a sanitary condition.
  3. No vertebrate animals shall be used at UofSC Aiken for research or instruction without prior review and approval by procedures established by the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC). Information on IACUC procedures and policy may be obtained from the IACUC through the Office of the Dean of the College of Sciences and Engineering.
  4. Investigators preparing proposals will consider alternative methods which replace, refine, and/or reduce the use of animals. When animals are necessary, the animals selected for a procedure should be of an appropriate species and the minimum number required to obtain valid results.
  5. Anesthetics and analgesics appropriate to the experimental design will be used to eliminate unnecessary pain or distress during scientific procedures. The post-operative care of animals shall be such as to minimize discomfort and pain.
  6. Students using animals for their education in the advancement of science shall work under the direct supervision of an experienced teacher or investigator.
  7. At the conclusion of the observations, if euthanasia is necessary, only methods approved by the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) shall be used.
  8. The IACUC, composed of experienced scientists, professional staff including a veterinarian trained in lab animal medicine, and at least one individual not affiliated with the University and representing community concerns, meets on a regular basis and reviews the policy pertaining to laboratory animal use at the University of South Carolina Aiken.
Download overview