A Sample Postapproval Monitoring Program in Academia
The primary goal of an animal care and use program (ACUP) should be to ensure animal well-being while fostering progressive science. Both the Animal Welfare Act (and associated regulations) and the Public Health Service (PHS) Policy require the institutional animal care and use committee (IACUC) to provide oversight of the animal program through continuing reviews to ensure that procedures are performed as approved by the committee. But for many committees the semiannual assessment does not
... ide an opportunity to observe research procedures being performed. Furthermore, IACUC members are typically volunteers with other full-time commitments and may not be able to dedicate sufficient time to observe protocol performance. Postapproval monitoring (PAM) is a tool that the IACUC can use to ensure that the institution fulfills its regulatory obligation for animal program oversight. When performed by attentive and observant individuals, PAM can extend the IACUC's oversight, management, training, and communication resources, regardless of program size or complexity. No defined PAM process fits all institutions or all situations; rather, the monitoring must match the program under review. Nonetheless, certain concepts, concerns, and conditions affect all PAM processes; they are described in this article. Regardless of the style or depth of PAM chosen for a given program, one thing is sure: failure of the IACUC to engage all available and effective oversight methods to ensure humane, compassionate, efficient, and progressive animal care and use is a disservice to the institution, to the research community and to the animals used for biomedical research, testing, or teaching.