Violation and Complaint Resolution

Guidelines

The purpose of this policy is to describe Guidelines for reporting animal welfare concerns at Boston University.

Boston University operates its animal care and use program according to the policies of the Public Health Service and the requirements of the Animal Welfare Act, including requiring institutions to have formal guidelines for reporting allegations of deficiencies in animal care or use.

Background

Obligation to Report and “Whistleblower” Protection
The regulations require that all persons involved or in any way associated with the use of animals in research know how to report deficiencies or concerns with animal care and treatment. There are no restrictions on who may report an alleged incident. Anyone who has knowledge of such a deficiency is obligated to report it to BU officials. Under no circumstances will reporting such incidences in good faith be detrimental to an individual’s standing within the organization. No person will be discriminated against or be subject to any reprisal for reporting, in good faith, a concern or violation of any animal care and use regulations or standards.

Reporting

Animal welfare concerns may be expressed in writing, by telephone, or in person. They may be sent anonymously to EthicsPoint. All of the information obtained from individual reporting, as well as the information obtained during the investigation, will be maintained confidential. Concerns for both campuses may be submitted to any of the individuals listed below. When these individuals receive concerns, they are responsible for presenting such concerns to the IACUC. All concerns will be reviewed under this procedure regardless of how they are received.
Charles River Campus
E-Mail: IACUC@bu.edu
Title
Phone
Chairman of the IACUC
617-358-2044
Attending Veterinarian & ASC Director
617-638-4086
Manager, Animal Welfare Assurance
617-358-3867
Executive Director,
Research Integrity & Assurance
617-638-7198
Associate Vice President,
Research Compliance
617-358-7660
Medical Campus
E-Mail: IACUC@bu.edu
Title
Phone
Chairman of the IACUC
617-638-8022
Attending Veterinarian & ASC Director
617-638-4086
Manager, Animal Welfare Assurance
617-358-3867
Executive Director,

Research Integrity & Assurance
617-638-7198
IACUC Post Approval Monitoring
617-638-4533
Associate Vice President
Research Compliance
617-638-7660

Procedures

The IACUC Chairperson or Vice Chair will be responsible for the review and, if warranted, the investigation.
The IACUC Chairperson will notify IACUC Committee members of a pending investigation. The IACUC Chairperson will keep the IACUC membership informed on the progress of the investigation, the preparation of action steps and recommendations.
An investigation, if warranted, will proceed immediately. The investigation will involve the participation of both voting and non-voting members and/or IACUC staff. The investigation will include contacting the Principal Investigator of the protocol for which the concern was raised. Additional named personnel in the protocol will also be contacted if warranted. Consultants and others may assist in the investigation.
Generally within 10 working days after completion of the investigation, the investigative team will meet to discuss the investigation and preparation of action steps or recommendations. The results of this meeting and the recommendations of the investigative committee, including sanctions or corrective action, must then receive review and approval (with or without amendment) of the IACUC at a convened meeting. The IACUC may receive confidential information obtained during the course of the investigation to assist them in making the appropriate decision; however, as with any other confidential information, the final report may omit it.
Any repercussions and/or sanctions resulting from an investigation must be approved by the IACUC before they can be submitted to the Institutional Official. This can only happen by majority vote during a convened meeting, in which there is a quorum present. After approval, the recommendations will be forwarded to the Institutional Official.

Record Retention

A report of the animal welfare concern and the appropriate documents from the IACUC investigation and any subsequent steps and/or recommendations will be maintained by the IACUC office for a period of at least 3 years.
BU IACUC Approved October 2008; updated February 2015