Species-Specific Training Policy for Researchers Using Animals

Approved October 21, 2010    Revised November 21, 2013 (Download) 

Rationale: The Guide for Care and Use of Laboratory Animals, 8th Edition, states that, “All personnel involved with the care and use of animals must be ade­quately educated, trained, and/or qualified in basic principles of laboratory animal science to help ensure high-quality science and animal well-being.” Training classes and one-on-one training for investigators for specific experimental techniques or species-specific handling has been available but not required and in many cases, experience detailed by the investigator and gained at other institutions or at the UW has been accepted as adequate. However, incomplete training can result in poor experimental outcomes and errors. Therefore, in order to more consistently meet the institutional requirement to provide adequate training, the IACUC has adopted the following policy.

Policy: Researchers (e.g., faculty, students, staff) doing hands-on work with animals at the University of Washington must take the appropriate species-specific training classes, including on-line classes and hands-on laboratories, according to the implementation described below. Protocol PIs who do not work directly with the animals are required to complete the appropriate on-line courses only.

Implementation:

Rodents: Personnel who will be handling or performing procedures on awake rodents must complete the appropriate training class(es) before beginning work with each species.  Such personnel must have completed or be registered for the appropriate species-specific training class before being added to a protocol using rodents.

Rabbits: Personnel who are working with, or who have worked with, rabbits at the UW prior to the original adoption of this policy (May 17, 2012) are exempt from the requirement to complete the rabbit training class. Other individuals, including personnel new to the UW, who will be handling or performing procedures on awake rabbits, must complete the rabbit training class before beginning work with rabbits. Such personnel must have completed or be registered for the appropriate species-specific training class before being added to a protocol using rabbits.

Pigs: Personnel who are working with, or who have worked with, pigs at the UW prior to the original adoption of this policy (May 17, 2012) are exempt from the requirement to complete the pig training class. Other individuals, including personnel new to the UW, who will be handling or performing procedures on awake pigs must complete the pig training class before beginning work with pigs. Such personnel must have completed or be registered for the appropriate species-specific training class before being added to a protocol using rabbits.

Primates: Personnel who are working with NHPs at the University of Washington must complete the WaNPRC training that involves proper handling and restraint of NHPs.

The implementation for additional species will be updated as classes are developed.

Please contact the Office of Animal Welfare if there are extenuating circumstances that make it necessary for a particular individual to be exempt from attending, or delay attending, a hands-on class. For example, a new faculty member not yet on campus but who needs IACUC approval in order to transfer a grant would be allowed to complete the class after arrival.

Personnel who are working with, or who have worked with, rabbits or pigs at the UW prior to the time of adoption of this policy (May 17, 2012) are exempt from the requirement to complete the rabbit or pig training class, respectively.