Office of Research

Reporting Concerns About Animal Care & Welfare

Policy

Clemson University is committed to the humane treatment of all vertebrate animals used in research and teaching. The privilege to use live animals for the advancement of science and medicine carries with it the responsibility to follow applicable laws, policies and procedures concerning animal welfare developed by the government and the University.

Who to Contact

Concerns or complaints involving the care or use of animals at Clemson University should be brought directly to the people involved whenever possible. If the concern is not adequately addressed, the concern should be taken immediately to the next administrative level or individual's supervisor.

If the concern or complaint cannot be handled directly, you can contact any one of the following:

  • Tina Tornambe Pittman, IACUC administrator, at (864) 656-4538
  • Peter Skewes, IACUC chair, at (864) 656-4026  
  • Tracy Arwood, Assistant Vice President for Research Compliance, at (864) 656-5515 
  • Mailing address: 223 Brackett Hall, Clemson University, Clemson, SC 29631

In the case of an emergency, please contact the Clemson University Police Department at (864) 656-2222.

What Information is Needed

Your report can be written or verbally communicated. A form is available for a written report of concerns. You may provide the information anonymously and — to the extent possible — the University will preserve your anonymity. The individual whom you contact will forward your report or concern to the University Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) for review, investigation and appropriate action. Please provide the following information (as well any other information you feel may be helpful):

  1. Describe the incident.
  2. Did you witness the incident personally?
  3. When did the incident happen?
  4. Where did the incident occur? (i.e., facility, room number and/or name of principal investigator)
  5. Have you reported the incident to anyone else?
  6. Name of complainant and phone number or e-mail. (Optional)

Regulatory Authority

As outlined in regulations issued pursuant to the Animal Welfare Act and found in 9 CFR § 2.31(c)(4), the IACUC is required to “review, and, if warranted, investigate concerns involving the care and use of animals at the research facility resulting from public complaints received and from reports of noncompliance received from laboratory or research facility personnel or employees.”

The USDA Animal Welfare Regulations provide protection against discrimination or other reprisals for reporting violations of the Animal Welfare Act (“whistleblower protection”). The regulations provide that “No facility employee, Committee member, or laboratory personnel shall be discriminated against or be subject to any reprisal for reporting violations of any regulations or standards under the Act.” (9 CFR § 2.32(c)(4)).