Investigating and Reporting Animal Welfare Concerns

The GUIDE FOR THE CARE AND USE OF LABORATORY ANIMALS 8th edition states:

“Safeguarding animal welfare is the responsibility of every individual associated with the Program. The institution must develop methods for reporting and investigating animal welfare concerns, and employees should be aware of the importance of and mechanisms for reporting animal wel­fare concerns.”

APCF takes its responsibilities for the humane care and and use of animals very seriously and APCF will investi­gate all welfare concerns whether identified by directly by APCF staff and/or users or received anonymously. APCF adheres strictly to the protection of whistle-blowers who make good faith allegations of welfare misconduct – hence all complaints or concerns will accepted by APCF from a complainant whether anonymously or not. All complaints will be handled in the strictest confidence. The policy also ensures there is no discrimination against the complainant, and the complainant is protected from reprisals.

Mechanisms for reporting concerns are posted in prominent locations in the APCF and are described below:

All concerns on welfare of animals should be reported to the Director APCF in the first instance or to the IACUC chairman.

Complaints can also be placed in the securely locked box in the change rooms of 7J & 7H or in the APCF office in 5488

The Director of APCF is committed to responding to such reports in a timely manner and findings will be communicated to the concerned complainant(s), unless such concerns are reported anonymously including corrective actions if deemed necessary. A report to the VPRGO of the issue, findings, and actions taken will also be made. Reported concerns and any corrective actions are to be documented and filed with both the APCF and the IACUC.

APCF has regular communications with staff and users (including person­nel such as maintenance and administrative staff, who are farther removed from the animal use) about the APCF’s animal care and use programs in order to reduce potential concerns.

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