Authority of the Attending Veterinarian (IACUC)


Boston University (BU) is committed to observing Federal policies and regulations and the Association for Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care (AAALAC) International standards for the humane care and use of animals. This policy describes the authority of the Attending Veterinarian.

Covered Parties

This policy covers all animals on BU premises used for research, teaching, training, breeding, and related activities, hereinafter referred to collectively as “activities”, and is applicable to all persons responsible for conducting activities involving live vertebrate animals at or under the auspices of Boston University.

University Policy

Adequate veterinary medical care is essential to support a comprehensive animal care and use program that ensures the health and well-being of animals. The University has empowered the Institutional-appointed Attending Veterinarian (AV) with full authority to provide medical care or euthanasia, at their discretion, to animals on BU premises. The duties of the AV may be shared or delegated to other veterinarians who report directly to the AV, but ensuring program compliance with federal regulations and institutional policy remains the responsibility of the AV.

The AV (or authorized designee) has unrestricted access to all areas where animals are used or housed, including any satellite facilities not directly managed by the Animal Science Center (ASC), and is authorized to immediately suspend research activities that are inconsistent with acceptable research conduct or for protocol deviations that have a negative impact on the animal. The AV will promptly forward incidents to the IACUC for further review.

The AV (or authorized designee) will make every reasonable attempt to consult the PI or responsible research staff member(s) prior to implementing veterinary care actions, however in emergent situations the AV is not required to obtain approval from the PI or other parties to provide appropriate care in an expedited fashion, if such actions are deemed necessary by the AV to protect the interests of the animal or the integrity of the University’s animal care program. In such cases, the AV will notify the PI as soon as reasonably practicable.

If the responsible research staff member and the AV (or authorized designee) are not in agreement regarding the need for medical treatment or euthanasia, the AV (or authorized designee) has authority to act to protect the health and well-being of the animal and will make the final decision based on their medical judgment.

Responsible Parties

The Animal Welfare Program and the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee are responsible for overseeing implementation of and ensuring compliance with this policy.

The Attending Veterinarian has been delegated authority to implement BU’s veterinary care program, and to oversee the adequacy of all other aspects of animal care and use.

Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals, Eighth Edition

Animal Welfare Act and Animal Welfare Regulations


Effective Date: 03/02/2021
Next Review Date: 03/01/2024
First Approved: 01/28/2014
Revised: 03/02/2021

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