OLAW notice NOT-OD-14-126: “Guidance on Significant Changes to Animal Activities” defines an administrative process that can be used to make specific significant changes to IACUC approved protocols.
This policy authorizes veterinarians to use their professional judgment to make significant changes to previously approved animal activities after verifying the requested change is one that has been previously reviewed and approved by the IACUC under this policy. The VVC process allows the veterinarian to consult with the PI, verify that the significant changes being considered are consistent with VVC policy, and make final changes to the protocol. The following significant changes have been reviewed and approved as part of this policy and, as a result, subsequent changes can be made to IACUC approved animal activities if the proposed change does not increase pain, distress or the degree of invasiveness:
- Changes in pain management drugs (i.e., anesthesia and/or analgesia) to ensure the approved plan continues to meet the clinical and humane requirements as well as the needs of the research protocol, and meets the acceptable veterinary standards;
- Enhancements to surgical procedures, including pre or post-operative procedures, that reduce the invasiveness or discomfort of the process;
- Modifications to the process of collecting tissue samples that are used for genotyping and/or identification purposes;
- Changes in the methods of euthanasia providing the changes are consistent with the acceptable methods described in the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) panel publication on acceptable methods for euthanizing vertebrate animals;
- Changes in the duration, frequency, type, or number of procedures performed on an animal;
- Changes between blood collection methods (route, frequency, volume) providing the techniques are less or equally invasive and appropriate for the species as determined by the veterinarian; and
- Enhancements to trio-breeding that include trio-birthing for breeding arrangements to increase breeding efficiency.