In this issue

Self-imposed regulatory burden

The APA Committee on Animal Research and Ethics is developing a self-study assessment tool based on an article about regulatory burden.

By Sangeeta Panicker, PhD

The APA Committee on Animal Research and Ethics (CARE) has, since 1925, been a leader in advancing societal interest in scientific discoveries by promoting ethically sound and valid research with nonhuman animals.

Over the past year, the committee has discussed the issue of over-regulation of laboratory animal research at the local institutional level. CARE recognized the importance of investigators being aware of the difference between federal regulatory requirements and institutional policies. In the committee’s experience, researchers often rely solely on their Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) members and compliance office staff for information on and interpretations of federal regulatory requirements and policies. Institutional pressures often drive IACUCs to implement policies that far exceed federal regulatory requirements. Such policies are often perceived as federal mandates. However, if investigators are more knowledgeable about the federal regulations, then they will be better positioned to effect changes in institutional policies that make more effective use of scarce resources in enhancing the well-being of the research animals (Thulin, et al., 2014) (PDF, 81KB).

In the interest of increasing scientists’ familiarity with current regulations, which in turn will enable them to discern self-imposed burden at their institutions (Leshner, 2008; National Academies, 2015), CARE is developing a self-study assessment tool based on an article about regulatory burden (Haywood & Greene, 2008). The analysis will help identify policies that do not impact on the well-being of research animals but contribute to regulatory burden.

To obtain additional information about this project, please contact CARE staff liaison, Sangy Panicker.