Office of Research Provisions of Veterinary Care by Veterinarian-Researchers - Office of Research

Provisions of Veterinary Care by Veterinarian-Researchers


Institutional Animal Care and Use Committees (IACUCs) must ensure that adequate veterinary care is provided for research and teaching animals. The term “adequate veterinary care” is defined by the Federal USDA Animal Welfare Act (AWA)*, the ILAR Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals (Guide), and the American College of Laboratory Animal Medicine (ACLAM). It is not limited to caring for sick animals, but includes programs of disease detection and surveillance, prevention, post-operative care, husbandry and a variety of other issues.

Regulatory agencies are concerned about potential conflicts of interest when a veterinarian researcher provides veterinary care to their own research animals.


The Attending Veterinarian (AV), as the veterinarian of record for the campus under the AWA and Public Health Service (PHS) Assurance, has final responsibility to ensure that campus programs for veterinary care are adequate. Veterinary care is provided to animals at UC Davis used for teaching and research through the AV, and under the delegated authority of the Campus Veterinary Services (CVS), the California National Primate Research Center (CNPRC), and the Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital (VMTH) Field Service (for livestock used in agricultural teaching and research).

A Principal Investigator (PI) wishing to provide their own veterinary care is discouraged, therefore must provide to the IACUC strong rationale based on scientific justification for requesting a deviation from one of the three veterinary care providers listed in the first paragraph of this section.


  1. In addition to providing written scientific justification, researchers must complete section 11 in the IACUC protocol form which includes information such as methods to diagnose and control diseases and provision of veterinary care on weekends and holidays.
  2. The veterinarian-researcher must notify the AV or designee by phone or email within 24 hours any significant animal health concerns that are a direct result of an Animal Care and Use Protocol’s procedures.
  3. The AV or designee has the authority to immediately suspend an activity that causes significant animal welfare or health concerns. The AV or designee will immediately notify the IACUC of any such situation.

Failure to adhere to these policies will result in loss of the privilege of the veterinarian-researcher to provide their own veterinary care.

The animal care staff will continue to report sick animals through the normal channels.


  1. Animal Welfare Act 9CFR Ch.1, ss 2.33 (3)(b)(1-5)
  2. ILAR Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals – Eight edition
  3. PHS Policy

Procedure: IACUC-21
Date: January 14, 2016
Enabled by: ILAR Guide, AWA, and PHS Policy
Supersedes: December 13. 2012