Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee

Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee

Since 1993, International Livestock Research Insitute (ILRI) has complied voluntarily with the United Kingdom Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986 that contains guidelines and codes of practice for the housing and care of animals used in scientific procedures.

The use of animals is defined as any activity involving vertebrate animals in which the natural lifestyle or movements of the animals is materially altered. Use of animal carcasses, tissues, and fluids obtained specifically for research or testing purposes are subject to review according to applicable regulations and may be determined to be 'use of animals'.

Personnel who work with animals or are at risk from animal exposure must be enrolled in a biosafety occupational health program and informed of the risks associated with the animal exposure.

The Environment and Operational Health and Safety unit supports ILRI's Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee, through which all principal investigators and project staff using animals, regardless of location or funding, must obtain approval before activities begin. Committee decisions and guidelines are regularly posted on the committee's website.

The committee reviews all experimental procedures and experiments on animals within ILRI.  No animal can be used for experiments without written permission from the committee. The committee considers the ethical issues and physical procedures associated with the housing, feeding, experimentation, and all other routine matters pertaining to the normal welfare of the animals.

The committee consists of five persons including a chairperson, a veterinarian, named animal care and welfare officer and a layperson. The chairperson is an ILRI senior staff member not normally involved in animal experimentation whereas the layperson is neither an ILRI staff member nor involved in ILRI research.

The Environment and Operational Health and Safety unitcoordinates the activities of the committee and acts as the secretariat. The committee meets at least twice a year, in March and September. It also meets in case of urgent matters that must be resolved before the scheduled meetings.