disease studies, administrators, regulators, and IACUCs face a dilemma in deciding how to handle such studies (Stricklin et al. 1990). Decisions on categorizing research uses of agricultural animals and defining standards for their care and use should be made by the IACUC based on both the researcher’s goals and concern for animal well-being. Regardless of the category of research, institutions are expected to provide oversight of all research animals and ensure that pain and distress are minimized.
The protocol, rather than the category of research, should determine the setting (farm or laboratory). Housing systems for agricultural animals used in biomedical research may or may not differ from those used in agricultural research; animals used in either type of research can be housed in cages, stalls, paddocks, or pastures (Tillman 1994). Some agricultural studies need uniform conditions to minimize environmental variability, and some biomedical studies are conducted in farm settings. Agricultural research often necessitates that animals be managed according to contemporary farm production practices (Stricklin and Mench 1994), and natural environmental conditions might be desirable for agricultural research, whereas control of environmental conditions to minimize variation might be desirable in biomedical research (Tillman 1994).
The Guide applies to agricultural animals used in biomedical research, including those maintained in typical farm settings. For animals maintained in a farm setting, the Guide for the Care and Use of Agricultural Animals in Research and Teaching (FASS 2010) is a useful resource. Information about environmental enrichment, transport, and handling may be helpful in both agricultural and biomedical research settings. Additional information about facilities and management of farm animals in an agricultural setting is available from the Midwest Plan Service (1987) and from agricultural engineers or animal science experts.
Continuing IACUC oversight of animal activities is required by federal laws, regulations, and policies. A variety of mechanisms can be used to facilitate ongoing protocol assessment and regulatory compliance. Postapproval monitoring (PAM) is considered here in the broadest sense, consisting of all types of protocol monitoring after the IACUC’s initial protocol approval.
PAM helps ensure the well-being of the animals and may also provide opportunities to refine research procedures. Methods include continuing protocol review; laboratory inspections (conducted either during regular facilities inspections or separately); veterinary or IACUC observation of selected procedures; observation of animals by animal care, veterinary, and IACUC staff and members; and external regulatory inspections and assess-