This worksheet is provided to assist offerors in preparing the VAS as a part of the Technical Proposal for submission to the NIH, and as guidance to reviewers in evaluating the VAS of proposals. The responsibilities of the Scientific Review Group (SRG), Project Officer and Contracting Officer (NIH Staff) are clarified on page 1. A worksheet to assist in preparing or evaluating the VAS is provided on page 2, with more detailed instructions provided on pages 3-4. An example of a complete VAS, considered ACCEPTABLE, is presented on page 5. I. Instructions for Offerors, SRGs, and NIH Staff Overview of requirements If live vertebrate animals are to be used, federal policy requires that the following five points are addressed by applicants in the VAS portion of the Technical Proposal. 1. Provide a detailed description of the proposed use of the animals in accordance with the requirements of the Request for Proposal (RFP) Statement of Work. Identify the species, strains, ages, sex and number of animals to be used in the proposed work. 2. Justify the use of animals, the choice of species, and the numbers to be used. If animals are in short supply, costly, or to be used in large numbers, provide an additional rationale for their selection and numbers. 3. Provide information on the veterinary care of the animals involved. 4. Describe the procedures for ensuring that discomfort, distress, pain and injury will be limited to that which is unavoidable in the conduct of scientifically sound research. Describe the use of analgesic, anesthetic, and tranquilizing drugs and/or comfortable restraining devices, where appropriate, to minimize discomfort, distress, pain, and injury. 5. Describe any method of euthanasia to be used and the reasons for its selection. State whether this method is consistent with the recommendations of the AVMA Guidelines on Euthanasia. If not, include a scientific justification for not following the recommendations. Offeror responsibilities Each of the five points must be addressed in the VAS portion of the Technical Proposal of NIH RFP. The discussion of all of the five points must be addressed and evaluated by reviewers as acceptable for the VAS portion to be considered ACCEPTABLE. The VAS portion must be considered as ACCEPTABLE prior to award
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