Reporting an Animal Welfare Concern
- Anyone can report any concern regarding animal use and/or care to BRC Staff, IACUC Secretariat, IACUC Members, or directly to the Institutional Official.
- Reporting of concern regarding animal use and/or care can be done via the following online form here
- Notices are place at all entrance of AVS-licensed premises. Anyone may report any concern relating to animal welfare anonymously.
Listed are common contacts to report an animal welfare concern.
Contact Details for Reporting of Animal Welfare Concern
IACUC Office: email@example.com
BRC Veterinary Services: firstname.lastname@example.org
Amendment to Existing Protocols
As required by the NACLAR Guidelines, PI must not begin animal experiments before a written IACUC approval is obtained (https://www.nparks.gov.sg/-/media/naclar-guidelines-(second-edition)_v2.ashx). The animal experiments must adhere to the approved protocols. Any modifications to the approved protocol must be submitted as an amendment to IACUC for approval before changes can be made. Performing a procedure on research animals without IACUC approval is considered as non-compliance, will be reported to IACUC and can result in institutional sanctions as per NACLAR Guidelines.
Examples of what would be considered as non-compliance, taking note that the following list is not exhaustive, include:
- performing an animal procedure that is not approved in protocol;
- use of non-approved cell lines/ drugs/ compounds etc.;
- keeping animals in procedure areas for more than 24h;
- overcrowded cages with animals not being separated/wean despite researcher being informed to follow up;
- keeping mice with tumors that exceed tumor size limit and/or tumor ulceration;
- insufficient monitoring of experimental mice with tumor burden;
- inadequate monitoring of anaesthetised mice;
- prolonged restraint of animals without prior approval of procedure by IACUC
POST APPROVAL MONITORING
IACUC, along with BRC, conducts regular post approval monitoring.
This consists of:
- Ongoing daily check of research animals involving BRC husbandry staff and veterinarians.
- Full Protocol Review: Approximately 4-6 random IACUC protocols with be fully reviewed per year. PI will only be notified after the full review has been completed.
- Unannounced PAM inspection: Random rooms within ARES AVS-licensed premises will be inspected without notifying the person-in-charge.
- Annual protocol reviews: Continuing reviews of activities involving the use of any animal for any scientific purpose, including any approved protocol of long duration and any long-term continual use for any individual animal or such purpose.
- Scheduled announced IACUC inspections.
HANDLING OF IACUC NON-COMPLIANCE
- This is serves to educate and facilitate PIs and their users in complying to the NACLAR Guidelines and regulations, and to maintain good research ethics within A*STAR.
- Upon receiving a concern, an investigation will be carried out by IACUC Compliance Officer, IACUC members and/or BRC veterinarians.
- Any unapproved experimental procedures must be stopped immediately.
- Incident will be reported by IACUC to the researcher involved, PI, attending veterinarian (AV), IACUC Chair, BRC, RI ED, IO and Research Office.
- The findings from investigation will be reported to the IACUC, which will review and deliberate on what sanctions to be recommended.
- Final IACUC decision will be made know to the researcher, PI, AV, IACUC Chair, BRC, RI ED, IO and Research Office.
- PI will receive certain number of non-compliance demerit points base on severity of the non-compliance.
- The demerit points are cumulative over the entire duration of each IACUC protocol.
- IACUC may form its own investigation team for cases that require further investigation.
IACUC will apply sanctions if potential case of animal mistreatment or protocol non-compliance is verified.
Sanctions need not apply if IACUC deems it is not appropriate.
Following a non-compliance case, required follow up by RI ED, PI and researcher include:
- Acknowledgement and rectification of non-compliance
- Indicate corrective action/s taken to prevent future recurrence
- Formal investigation by RI on PI & researcher/s involved in non-compliance
- Stop work of specific procedure related to non-compliance
- Impose close monitoring and other appropriate sanctions (see below)
- A severe case of non-compliance can result in protocol suspension by IACUC and recommendation of institutional sanctions (e.g. disciplinary actions, termination of staff employment) by IACUC to IO.
Based on NACLAR Guidelines (Second Edition 2022), III.6.7.7, page 90, some examples of sanctions include:
- a. letter of reprimand
- b. mandating specific training aimed at preventing future incidents;
- c. monitoring by the IACUC or IACUC-appointed individuals of research, testing, or training involving animals;
- d. temporary revocation of privileges to provide animal care or to conduct research, testing, or training that involves animals, pending compliance with specific, IACUC-mandated conditions;
- e. permanent revocation of privileges to provide animal care or to conduct research, testing, or training that involves animals; and
- f. recommending to the IO that institutional sanctions be imposed.