Establishment and Use of Veterinary Clinical Studies Committees

Research may be conducted using observations, data, and samples obtained from client-owned animals that are receiving veterinary medical care that is clinically appropriate for their medical condition. The AVMA believes that all clinical veterinary research should be conducted with oversight that ensures the safe and ethical treatment of veterinary patients, while providing appropriate disclosure to, and eliciting informed consent from, clients.

Animals undergoing standard-of-care treatment within a veterinarian-client-patient relationship that is not influenced by their involvement in a clinical study may be overseen by Veterinary Clinical Studies Committees (VCSC). The VCSC serves to ensure informed consent, and to protect animals from conflict of interest issues.

When the VCSC determines that the protocol of a clinical research study will influence the management of the animal patient the VCSC shall refer the proposed work for IACUC review.

VCSC should be composed of veterinarians primarily involved in clinical practice, should work closely with the IACUC, and have at least one member who is a member of the IACUC to serve as a conduit between the two entities.