Access to an animal for the purposes of obtaining samples, administering medication or accomplishing study objectives is an important component of many studies using research animals. In most cases, this period of immobility is short term. On occasion, a prolonged period of restraint may be required to achieve the project objectives. Accordingly, the intent of this policy is to identity the requirements regarding conscious, unanesthetized physical restraint of animals used in research, teaching or testing activities at the University of Michigan. This policy is intended to ensure that: (a) the method of restraint is appropriate for the species of animal, (b) the period of restraint is the minimum required for experimental objectives, (c) the personnel performing the restraint have been appropriately trained, and (d) when prolonged physical restraint is necessary, the physical, physiological and psychological effects on the animal are minimized.
The Guide notes that “less-restrictive systems that do not limit an animal’s ability to make normal postural adjustments” should be used whenever possible to accomplish research goals and to prevent injury to animals or personnel. Examples of such devices include nonhuman primate tethering systems that allow for all types of movement except 360-degree rotations parallel to the axis of the tether.