Animal Care and Use - Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC)

Does your project require IACUC approval?

Animal use activities must be reviewed and approved by the IACUC before a project can begin. If you are considering a project involving animal research, or animal use of any kind, you are required to submit a protocol for review to the IACUC.

Introduction to IACUC

Federally-mandated functions of the IACUC

  • Review at least once every six months the institution's program for humane care and use of animals.
  • Inspect at least once every six months all the institution's animal facilities.
  • Prepare reports of the IACUC evaluations and submit the reports to the Institutional Official.
  • The reports must distinguish significant deficiencies from minor deficiencies. If program or facility deficiencies are noted, the reports must contain a reasonable and specific plan and schedule for correcting each deficiency.
  • Review concerns involving the care and use of animals at the institution.
  • Make recommendations to the Institutional Official regarding any aspect of the institution's animal program, facilities, or personnel training.
  • Review and approve, require modifications in (to secure approval) or withhold approval of activities related to the care and use of animals.
  • Review and approve, require modifications in (to secure approval), or withhold approval of, proposed significant changes regarding the use of animals in ongoing activities.
  • Be authorized to suspend an activity involving animals.

The IACUC must consist of not less than five members, and must include at least:

  • One Doctor of Veterinary Medicine with training or experience in laboratory animal science and medicine, who has direct or delegated program authority and responsibility for activities involving animals at the institution;
  • One practicing scientist experienced in research involving animals;
  • One member whose primary concerns are in a nonscientific area (for example, ethicist, lawyer, member of the clergy); and
  • One individual who is not affiliated with the institution in any way other than as a member of the IACUC, and is not a member of the immediate family of a person who is affiliated with the institution.

SSU Policy Highlights

  • The policy applies to the procurement, housing, care and use of animals in university-supported research, testing, or instruction; and to research, testing or instruction using any university property or facility.
  • The policy applies to any animal procurement, transport, confinement, housing, care, manipulation, experimentation, breeding, or use in research, research training, experimentation, instruction, biological testing, or related purposes involving SSU faculty, staff, or students or utilizing any SSU facility or property.
  • It is the responsibility of the Principal Investigator, Project Director, or faculty member (whichever applies)to obtain IACUC approval of a protocol for any animal use activities and determine that the proposed activities are in accordance with federal laws and regulations.

You are encouraged to read the entire policy: Policy #2006-7 Animal Care and Use

Federal policy guidance

Animal Welfare Act

US Government Principles for the Utilization and Care of Vertebrate Animals Used in Testing, Research, and Training

Public Health Service (PHS) Policy on Human Care and Use of Laboratory Animals

Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals

How to submit an animal care and use protocol to IACUC

Your protocol must detail:

  • Identification of the species and the approximate number of animals to be used;
  • A rational for involving animals, and for the appropriateness of the species and numbers of animals to be used;
  • A complete description of the proposed use of the animals;
  • A description of procedures designed to assure that discomfort and pain to animals will be limited to that which is unavoidable for the conduct of scientifically valuable research, including provision for the use of analgesic, anesthetic, and tranquilizing drugs where indicated and appropriate to minimize discomfort and pain to animals;
  • A description of any euthanasia method to be used;
  • A description of the methods and sources used to determine that alternatives are not available to procedures that may cause more than momentary or slight pain or distress to the animals;
  • An assurance that the proposed activities do not unnecessarily duplicate previous experiments; and
  • Any other information the IACUC deems necessary.

Your protocol should be submitted directly to the IACUC chair. Activities involving the use of animals cannot begin until you have received notification of approval from the IACUC chair. Contact ORSP for specific instruction on submitting a protocol.