IACUC Oversight of Training and Qualification in Animal Care and Use
The training program must focus on humane methods of animal maintenance and experimentation (see 9 CFR §2.32 for guidance on these methods). Furthermore, personnel qualifications to perform the work on animals must be reviewed with sufficient frequency. The AWRs specify minimum requirements for training in animal husbandry, animal handling and care, periprocedural care, aseptic technique in surgery and other procedures, alternatives to limit the use of animals or minimize their distress, medications to prevent or alleviate pain and distress, and reporting methods for deficiencies in animal care and treatment, as well as for services available to provide information on biomethodologies, animal alternatives, avoidance of unnecessary duplication of animal use in research, and the intent and requirements of the Animal Welfare Act (AWA). Of these listed, the greatest challenge is teaching the fundamentals of aseptic surgery due to the procedural complexities and the rigors of maintaining asepsis. Hèon et al. (2006) described a model for developing a comprehensive training program for both rodent and large animal surgery. Training on species-specific biomethodologies typically includes ethics of animal care and use, humane methods of euthanasia, occupational health and safety considerations, and biosafety practices and equipment (Pritt and Duffee 2007), according to the nature
of the research program. Personnel should be trained on guidelines and standard operating procedures relevant to their work. Moreover, scientists should be trained on the preparation of animal protocols, how important issues in animal care and use are to be addressed, and how to interact effectively with the IACUC.