Animal Care and Use

Authority of the Attending Veterinarian Policy

Adopted: prior to January 1, 2012
Last Reviewed/Revised: September 2022

IACUC Policy

The Attending Veterinarian (AV) is the individual veterinarian responsible for the health and well-being of all laboratory animals used at Washington University in ST. Louis. The AV is fully authorized to provide medical care and/or euthanasia to all research animals at the institution. In an emergent situation, the AV is not required to obtain approval from the Principal Investigator (PI) or other parties prior to providing treatment or euthanasia to research animals. The AV will discuss all non-emergency animal health concerns with the PI, or designated contact person, prior to implementing veterinary care actions. If the PI and the AV do not agree on the proposed course of treatment or euthanasia, the AV has final authority to provide adequate veterinary care and humane endpoints.

  1. The AV must have access to all animals and to animal medical records at all times.
  2. Only the AV and DCM veterinary staff are authorized to independently perform medically necessary procedures and to administer medically necessary drugs that are not listed in the associated IACUC protocol. Protocol personnel must only administer treatments under the direction of the veterinarian or as described in the IACUC approved protocol.
  3. If the PI fails to provide euthanasia or meet the humane endpoints described in the IACUC approved protocol or as directed by the AV, the matter may be classified as protocol noncompliance and referred to the IACUC for review.

Definitions

  1. Attending Veterinarian (AV) includes both the individual with that title as well as any person(s) acting as designee(s) under the authority and/or direction of the AV.
  2. Principal Investigator (PI) includes both the relevant individual with that title as well as any person(s) acting as designee(s) under the authority and/or direction of the PI.
  3. DCM veterinary staff includes veterinarians and veterinary technicians employed by the Division of Comparative Medicine.