IACUC(The Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee)

The Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee, or IACUC, is a committee appointed by the Chief Executive Officer of the institution. The IACUC has certain federally mandated responsibilities, such as review of protocols and periodic evaluations of the program of animal care and use, including inspections of facilities. The IACUC Guidebook (PDF - 1.2 MB) , published in 1992 by OPRR and the Applied Research Ethics National Association (ARENA), is a recommended manual for IACUCs.

This committee is by required to Institutions that use live animals in their research facilities using federal and NIH funds :

  1. OLAW (Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare), reflects the August 7, 2002 PHS Policy amendment permitting institutions with PHS Animal Welfare Assurances to submit verification of Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) approval for competing applications or proposals subsequent to peer review but prior to award (67 FR 51289). Also included in this reprint are the U.S. Government Principles for the Utilization and Care of Vertebrate Animals Used in Testing, Research and Training. The U.S. Principles were promulgated in 1985 by the Interagency Research Animal Committee and adopted by U.S. Government agencies that either develop requirements for or sponsor procedures involving the use of vertebrate animals. The Principles were incorporated into the PHS Policy in 1986 and continue to provide a framework for conducting research in accordance with the Policy.

  2. USDA/Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service / Department of Agriculture / Animal Welfare Regulations - The Chief Executive Officer of the research facility shall appoint an Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC), qualified through the experience and expertise of its members to assess the research facility's animal program, facilities, and procedures. Except as specifically authorized by law or these regulations, nothing in this part shall be deemed to permit the Committee or IACUC to prescribe methods or set standards for the design, performance, or conduct of actual research or experimentation by a research facility.

Criteria for IACUC Review and Approval of Protocols
  1. Procedures with animals will avoid or minimize discomfort, distress, and pain to the
    animals, consistent with sound research design.
  2. Procedures that may cause more than momentary or slight pain or distress to the
    animals will be performed with appropriate sedation, analgesia, or anesthesia, unless the procedure is justified for scientific reasons in writing by the investigator.
  3. Animals that would otherwise experience severe or chronic pain or distress that cannot be relieved will be painlessly killed at the end of the procedure or, if appropriate, during the procedure.
  4. The living conditions of animals will be appropriate for their species and contribute to their health and comfort. The housing, feeding, and nonmedical care of the animals will be directed by a veterinarian or other scientist trained and experienced in the proper care, handling, and use of the species being maintained or studied.
  5. Medical care for animals will be available and provided as necessary by a qualified veterinarian.
  6. Personnel conducting procedures on the species being maintained or studied will be appropriately qualified and trained in those procedures.
  7. Methods of euthanasia used will be consistent with the recommendations of the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) Panel on Euthanasia, unless a deviation is justified for scientific reasons in writing by the investigator.

    (from IV. C.1.a.-g. of the PHS Policy)