East Carolina University Faculty Manual



V.  Animal Care and Use in Research and Instruction  (Formerly Appendix S)

A.  Policy

It is the policy of East Carolina University that animals used in research and teaching will receive humane care at all times.  Experiments (teaching or research) involving live, vertebrate animals must be performed by or under the immediate supervision of a qualified biological, behavioral, or medical scientist.  Experimentation shall be conducted so as to avoid all unnecessary suffering and injury to the animals.  The scientist in charge of the experiment must be prepared to terminate it when continuation may result in unnecessary injury or suffering to the animals.


Procedures involving animals should be designed and performed with due consideration of their relevance to human or animal health, the advancement of biological knowledge, or the good of society.  The animals selected for a procedure should be of an appropriate species and quality and the minimum number required to obtain scientifically valid results.  Statistical analysis, mathematical models, or in vitro biological systems will be used when appropriate to complement animal experiments and to reduce numbers of animals used.


Proper care of animals, including the avoidance or minimization of discomfort, distress, or pain, is a moral imperative.  Lacking evidence to the contrary, investigators should consider that procedures that cause pain in human beings cause pain in other animals.  Procedures with animals that may cause more than momentary or slight pain or distress should be performed with appropriate sedation, analgesia, or anesthesia.  Surgical or other painful procedures shall not be performed on unanesthetized animals paralyzed by chemical agents.  Animals that would otherwise suffer severe or chronic pain or distress that cannot be relieved should be painlessly killed at the end of the experiment or, if appropriate, during the experiment.


The living conditions of animals kept for biomedical purposes should contribute to their health and comfort.  The housing, care, and feeding of all animals used for these purposes will be supervised by the university veterinarian.  Investigators and other personnel shall be appropriately qualified and experienced for conducting procedures with living animals.  Adequate arrangements shall be made for their in-service training, including the proper and humane care and use of laboratory animals.


If it is deemed necessary to waive one of the foregoing principles, the decision should be made with due regard by the scientist to the value of the research and only after review and approval by the Animal Care and Use Committee.  Such waivers will not be made where the primary purpose is teaching or demonstration.

B.  Responsibilities

The faculty member conducting or supervising the conduct of animal experimentation is ultimately responsible for the humane care and use of the animals involved.  The faculty member and the appropriate department chairperson will regularly determine if animal use is adequately justified and humane care consistently provided.


Animal husbandry, disease control, appropriate use of anesthesia, administration of medication for relief of pain and distress, and euthanasia will be conducted as recommended by the university veterinarian.  Animal care programs throughout the university will be supervised by the university veterinarian as the representative of the administration.


The university Animal Care and Use Committee will monitor care and use of vertebrate animals at ECU and in off‑campus ECU programs.  The committee will regularly evaluate animal care practices, facilities, laboratories, research procedures, and teaching practices where animals are involved.  The National Institute of Health GUIDE FOR THE CARE AND USE OF LABORATORY ANIMALS is accepted as the standard for optimum animal care and will be used, with USDA regulations, by the committee in the evaluation.  The committee, additionally, will review proposals and protocols for all teaching and research projects intending to use vertebrate animals.  Proposals and protocols will describe, in detail, methods to be used for animal care and assurance of humane treatment during experimentation.  Committee approval is essential prior to initiation of the investigation or demonstration.  The vice chancellor for health sciences and dean of the School of Medicine and the vice chancellor for academic affairs will have administrative

oversight for vertebrate animal care and use programs.  The chairperson of the Animal Care and Use Committee and the university veterinarian will report to the two vice chancellors regarding their respective responsibilities.


In summary, it is the responsibility of the faculty conducting animal studies, the veterinarian providing animal care supervision, and the committee monitoring the program to assure humane treatment of animals.  Assurance is required by the public and by the granting agencies that animals will be used responsibly and with every consideration given for elimination of distress and discomfort.  The university is committed to providing such responsible use and considerate care for animal subjects of teaching and research activities.



  Approved:        21 October 1984

      East Carolina University Chancellor