Back to List

Policy#: 529-201

Title: IACUC PROCEDURES: Reporting the Mistreatment of Animals and Deficiencies in Their Care at UCR

Effective: 9/16/2019


It is the policy of the University of California and of UCR* that the care, use, and treatment of university-owned laboratory animals should be in full compliance with federal, state, and local regulations. The law requires that all persons involved or in any way associated with the use of animals in research know how to report deficiencies in animal care and treatment. There are no restrictions on who can report an alleged incident. It is also UC and UCR policy that under no circumstances will reporting such incidences in good faith be detrimental to an individual's standing within the organization.

DEFINITION: Allegations of animal mistreatment and deficiencies in care include the following: (1) the wrongful or abusive physical or psychological treatment of an animal and (2) Noncompliance with approved procedures, policies or protocols.

PROCEDURES: Any person with knowledge of deficiencies or with reasonable suspicions of deficiencies or mistreatment involving animals should report them directly to the Chair of the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee [] (IACUC), to the Campus Veterinarian, to any member of the IACUC, to the Chair of the department or program supervising the site where the observed actions have occurred, to the Assistant Vice Chancellor for Research Integrity [] or to the Institutional Official, i.e. the Vice Chancellor for Research [vcred@ucr.eduIn addition, the University of California has contracted with NAVEX Global, an outside company, to provide a confidential, anonymous means for reporting concerns via their EthicsPoint™ website []. Timely reporting is essential to protect the animals involved and to aid the investigation of the allegations.

Neither administrative action nor retribution of any kind may be taken against a person making a good faith report of deficiencies. This is in accordance with the UC Policy and Procedures for Reporting Improper Governmental Activities and Protection Against Retaliation for Reporting Improper Activities (Whistle Blower Policy)  [], January 1, 2012, which is under the oversight of the Campus Ethics and Compliance Office.

Reports of suspected deficiencies should be made in writing whenever possible and should include, but need not be limited to, the nature and the place of the occurrence, the person or persons alleged to be delinquent, the date, the time, and any supporting facts.

If a person actually witnesses mistreatment or abuse, the witness should immediately notify the Campus Veterinarian [] so that the animal or animals involved can be evaluated and receive medical treatment if necessary. The person should then report the incident as described above. If the Campus Veterinarian is not available, one of the individuals listed above should be contacted to arrange the appropriate care.

The Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee will investigate allegations and report its findings and recommendations to the Institutional Official in a timely fashion.

Details of any reports or allegations of deficiencies, findings or recommendations of the IACUC, as well as administrative or legal actions taken by the committee or the Institutional Official, are considered privileged information and may be released only through official channels, or as required by law.

Willful mistreatment or abuse of animals may be grounds for suspension of all animal use activities or protocols involved, or other disciplinary actions. Disciplinary action may be appealed through existing procedures.

This policy will be posted on the Office of Research Integrity website where it is available to all personnel involved in animal research. Notices referring to this policy will be posted in all vivaria and animal research areas.

Statutory authority for this instruction is found in the 1985 Amendment to the Animal Welfare Act Title 7, United States Code, Section 21312156, PL99198.  The act requires that " for scientists, animal technicians, and other personnel involved with animal care ... shall include ... methods whereby deficiencies in animal care and treatment should be reported."

*University Policy on the Use of Animals in Research and Teaching (October 15, 1984), University Policy on Integrity in Research (June 26, 1990), and UCR Policy on Integrity in Research (October 15, 1990).

Updated: 12/9/04; 6/11/07; 9/16/19