Principal investigators, graduate and research assistants, and other research personnel are responsible for the care and welfare of animals used in research, testing, and teaching. Ultimately, it is the investigator’s responsibility to prepare research protocols and ensure all requirements are met by all named personnel. The investigator should consider the following topics in preparing a protocol:
- Rationale and purpose of the proposed use of animals.
- Justification of the species and number of animals requested. Whenever possible, the number of animals requested should be justified statistically.
- Availability or appropriateness of the use of less-invasive procedures, other species, isolated organ preparation, cell or tissue culture, or computer simulation.
- Adequacy of training and experience of personnel in the procedures used.
- Unusual housing and husbandry requirements.
- Appropriate sedation, analgesia, and anesthesia.
- Unnecessary duplication of experiments.
- Conduct of multiple major operative procedures.
- Criteria and process for timely intervention, removal of animals from a study, or euthanasia if painful or stressful outcomes are anticipated.
- Postprocedural care.
- Method of euthanasia or disposition of animal.
- Safety of working environment for personnel.
Source: National Research Council. (1996). Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals, pg.10. Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press.