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Section Five: Animals in Research

CASE STUDY: Recovery and Multiple Use*

A nationally-known professor-surgeon affiliated with the University and a local Health Institute submitted an IACUC protocol proposal to use 10 pigs this year for a surgical training program. He would serve as PI on the project. After tranquilizing and anesthetizing the animal, each trainee would visualize and remove the gall bladder using an operating endoscope. They would do so after successfully completing computer and video visualizations and before attempting the technique in humans. They would perform the procedure under the direction of the professor, and would use aseptic technique. The pigs would recover from the procedure and the attending veterinarian would monitor the pigs' pain and prescribe post-operative analgesia if necessary. The protocol called for euthanasia approximately two weeks after the procedure when the pigs appeared fully recovered, but did not note the type of euthanasia. The PI for this protocol is an M.D./Ph.D. with extensive experience. The IACUC members are not familiar with his particular research.

If you were a member of IACUC, where would you want further clarification?

No further clarification is needed. The IACUC must trust that highly experienced investigators know what they are doing.

Question the use of animals, the number of animals and species used.

Question the reason that the pigs are allowed to recover from surgery.

Question the method of euthanasia.

*This case was adapted from Silverman, J. (1994). "Protocol Review: No Recovery?" Lab Animal, April. p. 20.