Federal regulations charge Rutgers University with ensuring and advancing animal welfare, while supporting our faculty’s scientific research. A part of the university’s charge is to provide continuing oversight of research involving animals through ongoing reviews. Rutgers’ Office of Research Regulatory Affairs has established a Post-Approval Monitoring Process (PAMP) to support this compliance requirement.
PAMP works alongside the university’s IACUC to support the ongoing review of such research. The University fulfills this requirement in two ways: First, through the semiannual assessment inspections of facilities, required by the IACUC; second, through the post-approval monitoring process. Since protocol approval is prospective in nature, post-approval monitoring takes place after the commencement of research (started upon approval of the research protocol by the IACUC). Post-approval monitoring provides an opportunity to observe research procedures as they are being performed. This enables the university to not only ensure compliance, but also benefits researchers who receive constructive feedback toward animal welfare practices. PAMP is respectful and constructive and should be viewed as an opportunity for communication, education, and relationship development between the user groups (i.e., the PIs, research personnel, and animal care staff), the IACUC, and PAMP personnel.
It should be noted that PAMP is not a substitute for any of the IACUC’s responsibilities or duties. Instead, PAMP will assist the committee in performing program and facility review more effectively. PAMP is designed to build bridges, encourage partnership, enhance education, and ensure animal well-being. It is bilateral in nature: in as much as it provides constructive means toward animal welfare, it welcomes suggestions from researchers to ensure that state-of-the-art methods are taken into account toward the creation of best practices.
Damir Hamamdzic D.V.M., Ph.D.
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