Reporting Animal Welfare Concerns (Whistle-Blower Policy)
The purpose of this document is to describe the methods for reporting animal welfare concerns. Montana State University (MSU) and MSU’s Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) are committed to the humane treatment of animals used for research, teaching, training, and testing. These entities are also committed to assuring that research is performed with the highest scientific and ethical standards.
The IACUC should be informed of any concerns that members of the campus community or general public have for the care and use of laboratory animals. The IACUC feels it is essential that these concerns be addressed on an individual basis.
III. Process for Reporting Animal Welfare Concerns
Any individual who has a concern regarding the care and use of animals in research or teaching at MSU should voice that concern by any of the following mechanisms:
- Contact any member of the Montana State University IACUC
- Submit an electronic Animal Care and Use Concern Form
- Contact Ethics Point, an anonymous compliance reporting system, toll-free 855-753-0486, or through the link.
Examples of reportable incidents include, but are not limited to:
- Conduct of animal-related activities without appropriate IACUC review and approval;
- Conditions that jeopardize the health or well-being of animals, including natural disasters, accidents, and mechanical failures, resulting in actual harm or death to animals;
- Failure to adhere to IACUC-approved protocols;
- Implementation of any significant change to IACUC-approved protocols without prior IACUC approval;
- Failure to maintain appropriate animal-related records (e.g., identification, medical, husbandry);
- Conduct of animal-related activities beyond the established expiration date;
- Failure to provide space for animals in accordance with recommendations of the Guide;
- Participation in animal-related activities by inappropriately trained individuals;
- Failure to monitor animals post-procedurally as necessary to ensure well-being;
- Failure to ensure the death of animals after euthanasia procedures; and
- Failure of animal care and use personnel to carry out veterinary orders (e.g., treatments).
If you are uncertain about whether an incident or activity should be reported, please report it.
Montana State University will not tolerate any reprisal against an individual who has come forward with concerns involving the care and use of animals. Such reprisal is prohibited by law, and perpetrators are subject to disciplinary actions. Individuals who feel that a personnel action has been taken against them because they reported an apparent violation of animal care and use requirements should contact the Office of Institutional Equity.
IV. Investigation of Suspected Animal Welfare Concerns
Animal welfare concerns will be investigated in accordance with the Policy on Investigating Animal Welfare Concerns and Noncompliance.
IACUC Approval Date: 09/30/2015
Review Date: 01/19/2022
Issue Date: 01/28/2022