Reporting Animal Concerns
One of the responsibilities of the UC Berkeley ACUC is to “review, and, if warranted, investigate concerns involving the care and use of animals at the research facility resulting from public complaints received and from reports of noncompliance received from laboratory or research facility personnel or employees” (9CFR §2.31,b,4). When necessary, the ACUC will take appropriate actions to ensure that similar animal welfare concerns do not occur again.
Incidents, concerns, or questions regarding the inappropriate care and use of live vertebrate animals may include, but are not limited to:
- Inhumane treatment of animals that jeopardizes the health and well-being of those animals (e.g., misuse, abuse, neglect)
- Performance of research or teaching procedures not approved on the Principal Investigator (PI)’s Animal Use Protocol (AUP)
- Violations of federal and state regulations, including the Public Health Services (PHS) Policy and, the Animal Welfare Act & Regulations as well as the UC System and Berkeley Policies
It is also important for unanticipated adverse events (e.g., unexpected illness or death in the course of research or teaching) to be reported.
How to Report an Animal Welfare Concern
If possible, concerns regarding the experimental use of animals should be discussed with the Principal Investigator (PI), laboratory staff, animal health technicians, and/or animal resource facility managers. If the issue cannot be discussed and resolved with these individuals or if concerns persist, individuals are encouraged to report suspected deficiencies or concerns via telephone, electronic communication, or in-person to one or more of the administrators below:
- OLAC’s Attending Veterinarian (642-9232);
- ACUC Chair (firstname.lastname@example.org or 642-8855), or;
- OACU Director (email@example.com or 642-8855).
Telephone or in-person conversations must be followed by the submission of a written summary from the person to whom the incident was reported. Please provide as much information as possible when reporting animal welfare concerns.
UC Berkeley is dedicated to the humane care and use of live vertebrate animals in research and teaching as well as protecting the rights of the individuals who report animal welfare concerns. Therefore, any incident, non-compliance or adverse event related to animal welfare that is brought to the attention of the ACUC, OACU or OLAC are taken very seriously and thoroughly investigated. Individuals conveying the report will not be discriminated against (9 CFR § 2.32,c,4) and will remain anonymous (to the extent possible), unless they wish to identify themselves.
Whistleblower PolicyIf you feel that your concerns have not been addressed by one of the above means, you may report concerns through the UC Whistleblower page, which has additional information, including the Whistleblower Policy and Whistleblower Protection Policy, a hotline number, frequently asked questions, and links to other UC whistleblower websites.