IACUC Policy on Multiple Major Survival Surgical Procedures
The Animal Welfare Act requires that no animal assigned to a proposal is to be used for more than one major survival operative procedure (9 CFR, Part 2, Section 2.31(d)(1)(x) and Animal Care Policy #14), unless the multiple procedures are included within one proposal, justified for scientific reasons by the Principal Investigator (PI), and approved by the IACUC. A second major survival surgical procedure may not be performed on the same animal under a separate proposal.
A major survival surgical procedure is defined as one that penetrates and exposes a body cavity or produces a substantial impairment of physical or physiological function.
An animal needing to undergo an emergency major surgical procedure, as part of proper veterinary care, may still be used in a proposal that requires a major survival surgical procedure as a part of the approved research. There is no requirement for justification in these instances, and the PI and the University Attending Veterinarian should evaluate the suitability of such an animal for the proposed work prior to any procedures being initiated.
If an animal will need to undergo two or more major survival surgical procedures as a part of the proposed research, the following information is required for the IACUC to evaluate the proposal:
1. Scientific justification-provide the explanation and justification for the need to have animals undergo multiple major survival surgical procedures. Providing references can be of assistance to the IACUC in this evaluation. The description of the surgical procedure should include the total number of major survival surgical procedures any one animal will undergo, the frequency of such procedures, and the period of time between each surgical procedure.
2. Species-the species that will undergo this procedure must be clearly stated.
3. Number of animals-the specific number of animals that will undergo this manipulation must be clearly stated in the proposal, along with the justification for the group size selected.
4. The specific measures to decrease pain and distress, including drugs used, as well as the monitoring frequency that will be used to ensure pain/distress is minimized.
5. If a major surgery will be performed prior to the animal arriving on campus, this includes surgeries performed by commercial vendors, the PI should identify and justify any such procedures in the ACUP.
The IACUC may require additional updates on animal well-being for these types of studies. These updates could include, but are not limited to, written requests for information, additional inspections, or requests for schedules so animals can be observed.