The purpose of this memo is to reiterate the campus policy with respect to veterinary authority. The official campus policy on the authority of research animal veterinarians is defined in the attached policy statement.
This policy supersedes any local policies or practices related to the authority of campus research animal veterinarians. Compliance with this policy is required of all campus investigators and their staff, facility managers, animal care supervisors, animal research technicians, all departments, college units, IACUCs and animal facilities as a condition for retaining the privilege to work with animals at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. No individual or unit using animals for research or teaching at the University of Wisconsin–Madison is exempt from this policy.
The Animal Welfare Act (CFR 9 § 2.33.a.2) stipulates, "Each research facility shall ensure that the attending veterinarian has appropriate authority to ensure the provision of adequate veterinary care and to oversee the adequacy of other aspects of animal care and use." The Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals (which covers animal research funded by the National Institutes of Health) states, "The institution must provide the AV [attending veterinarian] with sufficient authority, including access to all animals, and resources to manage the program of veterinary care." In keeping with the requirements of the Animal Welfare Act and the Guide, research animal veterinarians at the University of Wisconsin–Madison have the authority to require actions that in their professional judgment are necessary to:
Furthermore, research animal veterinarians are authorized to intercede in any activity involving the use of animals for research and teaching purposes, including the removal of animals from study, which in their judgment jeopardizes animal welfare or compliance with federal or university policies. This includes the authority to enforce existing rules and policies that involve any portion of the program of animal care and use, such as various safety policies (e.g., proper BSL-2 procedures, adequate PPE), and individual facility standard operating procedures (e.g., order of entry into rooms in a facility).