Animal Subject Research

No.  4-34a   Rev.       Date 5-6-14     






To state the principles governing the use of animal research subjects.  This policy is in concert with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Animal Use and Care Committees, Special Reference Briefs, 92-16, Updates SRB 90-06.

Weber State University is committed to the proper treatment of animal research subjects.  Unnecessary pain to any creature is to be avoided.

Awareness and discussion of these issues are part of the professional development and responsibility of faculty and the education of students.

All empirical investigations involving animal subjects must meet federal and relevant professional standards, regardless of their funding, whether carried out by faculty or students.

The principal responsibility for determining that an empirical investigation falls within the purview of government or professional guidelines lies with the principal investigator.

Members of Departments carrying out investigations using animals should acquaint themselves with the pertinent standards.  They are also responsible for acquainting any Student Investigators in their charge with the relevant principles of, and guidelines for, ethical research and for monitoring compliance. 


U. S. Department of Agriculture, Animal Use and Care Committees, Special Reference Briefs, 92-16, Updates SRB 90-06. 


A. Levels of Review

Different categories of investigation require different levels of review.  Department Chairs should be consulted first about whether or not any investigation meets the relevant standards. 

B.  Requirement for Review

All research affiliated with WSU, using WSU facilities and/or personnel, and using animal subjects, must complete a Protocol Review by the Animal Care and Use Committee (ACUC), coordinated by OSP.

C.  Oversight for Animal Research

1.  Research should be undertaken with a clear scientific purpose and in compliance with applicable U.S. Department of Agriculture regulations and the Animal Welfare Act.  There should be a reasonable expectation that the research will (a) increase knowledge of the processes underlying the evolution, development, maintenance, alteration, control, or biological significance of behavior; (b)  determine the replicability and generality of prior research; (c) increase understanding of the species under study; or (d) provide results that benefit the health or welfare of humans or other animals.

2.  The scientific purpose of the research should be of sufficient potential significance to justify the use of animals.  Investigators should act on the assumption that procedures that would produce pain in humans will also do so in other animals.

3.  The species chosen for study should be best suited to answer the question(s) posed.  The principal investigator should always consider the possibility of using other species, non-animal alternatives, or procedures that minimize the number of animals in research, and should be familiar with the appropriate literature.

4.  Research on animals may not be conducted until the protocol has been reviewed by the Animal Care and Use Committee (ACUC) to ensure that the procedures are appropriate and humane.

5.  The investigator should monitor the research and the animals' welfare throughout the course of an investigation to ensure continued justification for the research.

D.  Student proposals for course-required research projects:

When a course requires students to conduct research on animal subjects, the research proposals must be reviewed by the course instructor prior to submission to ACUC.