8. Attending Veterinarian
The duties, roles, and responsibilities of the Attending Veterinarian (AV) are defined in the Animal Welfare Act [Title 9 C.F.R., Section 2.33(a) Attending Veterinarian and Adequate Veterinary Care].
The AV has the authority to ensure that adequate veterinary care is provided at all times, and must have unrestricted access to areas where animals are housed and used in teaching and research.
The AV will consult with PIs to provide guidance on procedures and drugs to minimize pain and distress. He or she will also assist the PI and research or animal care staff by providing training in humane methods of animal maintenance and experimentation.
The AV is also a voting, ex officio member of the Virginia Tech IACUC.
The AV bears ultimate responsibility for ensuring that treatment is provided and documented in the animal medical records. He or she may request veterinary faculty clinician assistance in animal treatment, however.
If a veterinary faculty clinician is the PI, he or she may request permission to provide clinical treatment to his or her animals, but must maintain all proper documentation and must recognize the ultimate authority of the Attending Veterinarian, on behalf of the IACUC, in determining necessary clinical intervention.
Further, in non-emergency situations, the AV will consult with the PI to ensure that the proposed course of treatment will not adversely affect the outcome of the study; however, in emergencies, the duty of the AV is to protect the health and well-being, and minimize the suffering, of the animal in question.