Investigation of Alleged Noncompliance and Animal Concerns

Texas A&M is strongly committed to the humane and ethical care and use of animals in research, testing, and teaching, and complies with all applicable federal, state and local laws, regulations, policies and guidelines to ensure appropriate standards are upheld. Ensuring animal welfare and maintaining programmatic compliance is a shared responsibility between all members of the animal care and use program.

All allegations of animal abuse, misuse, mistreatment and noncompliance are taken seriously and investigated by the IACUC, even if the complainant chooses to remain anonymous. Treatment of complaints will comply with state and federal whistleblower policies, nondiscrimination against the concerned/reporting party, and protection from reprisals, as applicable.

Individuals who observe misuse or mistreatment of animals and/or potential noncompliance are strongly encouraged to report concerns to the IACUC, the Attending Veterinarian (or designee) or the Animal Welfare Office staff through the contacts below. It is helpful for the IACUC to have as much information as possible about the animal concern or potential noncompliance in order to conduct a thorough investigation.

In all cases where an animal’s immediate health or welfare is threatened, the Attending Veterinarian (or designee) has the authority to act on behalf of the animal’s welfare, up to and including immediate euthanasia. While a good faith effort will be made to contact the PI, clinical care or euthanasia can occur without the PI’s knowledge.

Individuals or groups whose animals or activities are the subject of the animal concern and/or potential noncompliance are expected to cooperate with the IACUC’s designated investigators fully and respond promptly to any inquiries, correspondence or requests for interview(s).

Based on the outcome of the IACUC’s review, modifications to the protocol’s activities, or other corrective actions such as additional training, post-approval monitoring, or suspension of the activities or protocol, may occur.

Substantiated animal concerns and incidents of serious or continuing noncompliance are reported by the IACUC to the Institutional Official, and may require additional reporting to federal regulators, funding agencies and accrediting bodies. The Department Head or Dean will also be notified of the incident and outcome of the IACUC’s review.

The complainant, when not anonymous, may be appraised when the animal concern and/or potential noncompliance has been addressed and closed by the IACUC, though details will be withheld as necessary to maintain confidentiality.

Reporting Contacts:

  • IACUC Chair/Animal Welfare Office: (979) 845-1828, (979) 862-3176 (fax),
  • Contacts for AV/Designee Contact by campus:
    • College Station (CMP): (979) 845-7433
    • Dallas (ARU): (214) 828-8149
    • Galveston (Sea Life Facility): (409) 740-4574
    • Houston (PAR): (713) 677-7471
    • Kingsville (PRF): (361) 221-0770

Animal care and use program participants: Please see IACUC Guidance TAMU-G-015 (Texas A&M NetID authentication required) for more information related to reporting of animal concerns and potential noncompliance.