Webinar: Building an Exceptional Animal Care and Use Program Through Engaged Leaders and Continuous Improvement

April 18, 2018 | 1:00-2:30 PM ET

View the webinar recording:


An exceptional animal care and use program actively balances science, animal welfare, and compliance. This balancing act requires knowledge of scientific integrity, ethical use of animals in research, and animal well-being, as well as an in-depth understanding of regulations, all within a context of continuous improvement. With the right strategies, animal care and use professionals on all levels can contribute to creating and maintaining a high-quality program. During this 90-minute webinar, speakers will provide a framework for building a strong animal care and use program or strengthening an established program. Topics will include:

  • Four important features of an effective program:
    • Engaged leaders and staff at all levels throughout your organization
    • Comprehensive training programs
    • Maintaining up-to-date knowledge of new literature and regulations
    • Establishing performance standards and metrics of success
  • Key elements to foster a culture of care at your institution:
    • Institutional commitment
    • Sustainability
    • Networking opportunities
  • How the "3 S's"—good science, good sense, and good sensibilities—complement the 3Rs (reduction, replacement, and refinement)
  • Case studies that demonstrate the positive effect that a strong animal care and use program can have on scientific integrity and animal welfare

What will I learn?

After attending this webinar, attendees will be able to:

  • Implement new strategies for building or improving an effective animal care and use program based on engagement, training, knowledge sharing, and success metrics
  • Understand the importance of balancing science, animal welfare and compliance within an animal care and use program
  • Correlate the 3 S's with the 3Rs
  • Examine scenarios from different viewpoints and establish an institutional perspective that supports a culture of care

Who should attend?

Speakers will address how these strategies will benefit various roles within an animal care and use program, including researchers and research staff; IACUC chairs, staff, and members; veterinarians and veterinary staff; animal caregivers, and other areas that support animal care and use programs. Speakers will also discuss how to apply these principles within a variety of institution types and sizes, including contract research organizations, academic institutions, biotech, and pharmaceutical companies.

Continuing Education

CPIA Credit labelWebinar participants holding the Certified Professional in IACUC Administration (CPIA®) credential may apply 1.5 continuing education credits towards CPIA recertification. Learn More »


Christina SavidgeChristina Savidge, BS-Animal Science LATG, has 17 years of preclinical experience in large animal, rodent, and reproductive toxicology. She has competencies in various technical procedures including dosing and blood collection techniques critical to the successful conduct of toxicology studies on multiple species. Ms. Savidge is currently the manager of the Large Animal Toxicology program at Envigo CRS-Princeton (formerly Huntingdon Life Sciences), a contract research organization that provides essential products and research services for pharmaceutical, crop protection, and chemical companies as well as universities, governments, and other research organizations and is in proximity to Rutgers and Princeton Universities. Christina joined Envigo in 1999 after receiving her Bachelors of Animal Science degree from the University of Delaware. She is responsible for planning and executing a wide variety of study designs in the Large Animal Toxicology group with a focus on both animal welfare and exceptional quality. By researching and developing new procedures and investigating and implementing refinements, she helps to continuously improve upon the levels of animal care at the facility and within the industry; she also has participated as a member and former Chair of the company’s IACUC. Christina is passionate about the work she does and strives to strengthen the bond between her team and the animals they care for on a daily basis. She enjoys new challenges and learning opportunities, and is honored to be co-presenting this webinar.

Sally Thompson-IritaniSally Thompson-Iritani, DVM, PhD, CPIA, is the director of the Office of Animal Welfare at the University of Washington (UW) and acting associate director for the Washington National Primate Research Center. The Office of Animal Welfare has undergone several transitions to increase its alignment and move forward with technology and customer service while maintaining regulatory compliance. They recently completed an overhaul and conversion to a fully integrated electronic database system for IACUC management, and other projects include Compassion Fatigue Support, a national repository for standard procedures (Compliance Unit Standard Procedures), and a learning management system for overseeing training of IACUC members and personnel that interact with animals. Prior to being at UW, Dr. Thompson-Iritani received her DVM from Iowa State University, and received training as a laboratory animal veterinarian and obtained a PhD in environmental toxicology at UW. After that, she held positions in the biotech/pharmaceutical industry in both small and large companies, where she was responsible for preclinical oversight, vivarium management, veterinary care, and IACUC offices for 18 years. Dr. Thompson-Iritani’s particular interests include an emphasis on animal welfare while maintaining compliance, scientific integrity, and researcher support in the various types of areas where these intersect, such as education, biomedical, field, and conservation research. Dr. Thompson-Iritani is a member of the 2017 IACUC Conference Planning Committee.

Additional Resources

A collection of relevant background reading, further reading, links, templates, checklists, and/or charts accompany each PRIM&R webinar. Groups that register for webinars receive a discussion guide containing thought-provoking questions and facilitation tips that may help in using the webinar as an educational tool for IACUCs.

Background Reading:

Smith, A.J., and Hawkins, P. (2016). Good Science, Good Sense and Good Sensibilities: The Three Ss of Carol Newton. Animals, 6, p. 70. doi:10.3390/ani6110070


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