The West Virginia University Office of Animal Welfare (OAW) assist the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) who oversees the entire animal care program at WVU to ensure the health and well-being of all animals being used for research, teaching, and outreach.
The OAW, along with the IACUC, serves as a resource to investigators, technicians, students, staff and administrators, providing guidance in fulfilling the obligation to plan and conduct all animal use procedures with the highest scientific, humane, and ethical principles.
The IACUC is appointed by the Vice President for Research at WVU and includes scientists, veterinarians, non-scientists, and local community representation. The IACUC reviews all proposals for animal use and monitors animal activities to ensure compliance with regulatory requirements and established standards.
West Virginia University recognizes and embraces the fundamental interdependence of humans and animals and is committed to humane care and use of all animals. Animal-related activities are an essential part of WVU’s research, teaching and outreach missions and help WVU advance the quality of life for people and animals.
Animal activities at WVU are conducted in a manner that is compliant with the humane care and management practices required by standards and regulations promulgated under the Animal Welfare Act, the Public Health Service Policy on Humane Care and Use of Laboratory Animals, the Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals, and the Guide for the Care and Use of Agricultural Animals in Research and Teaching. WVU has established an IACUC in accordance with all of the above listed standards and regulations as it is assured with the Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare (OLAW), registered with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and is accredited by AAALAC International.
For more information about how and why animals are used in research, we encourage you to visit the Animals in NIH Research page.
Statement on Conflict of Interest (COI):
Public Health Service Policy and Animal Welfare Regulations state that no IACUC member “may participate in the IACUC review or approval of an activity in which that member has a conflicting interest (e.g., is personally involved in the activity) except to provide information requested by the IACUC”. Further they indicate that conflict of interest must be mitigated by the IACUC Chair whenever a member’s personal biases may interfere with his or her impartial judgment, a member is involved in a competing research program, or access to funding or intellectual information may provide an unfair competitive advantage.
West Virginia University’s animal care and use committee maintains compliance with all federal regulations and guidelines to prevent and mitigate conflict of interest issues. Members of the committee are required to self-identify whenever they feel that their involvement in review and discussion of a subject creates a real or perceived conflict of interest that might bring into question their objectivity (including any conflicts or activities subject to WVU policies governing ethics and conflicts of interest and commitment). Furthermore, the chair may identify and take actions in other situations to recuse members, including the chair themselves, in review, discussion, and/or approval of various IACUC topics based on known or perceived conflicts of interest.