Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee

The responsible administrative official at each institution must appoint an IACUC, also referred to as "the committee," to oversee and evaluate the institution's animal program, procedures, and facilities to ensure that they are consistent with the recommendations in this Guide, the AWRs, and the PHS Policy. It is the institution's responsibility to provide suitable orientation, background materials, access to appropriate resources, and, if necessary, specific training to assist IACUC members in understanding and evaluating issues brought before the committee.

Committee membership should include the following:

  • A doctor of veterinary medicine, who is certified (see American College of Laboratory Animal Medicine, ACLAM, Appendix B) or has training or experience in laboratory animal science and medicine or in the use of the species in question.

  • At least one practicing scientist experienced in research involving animals.

  • At least one public member to represent general community interests in the proper care and use of animals. Public members should not be laboratory animal users, be affiliated with the institution, or be members of the immediate family of a person who is affiliated with the institution.

The size of the institution and the nature and extent of the research, testing, and educational programs will determine the number of members of the committee and their terms of appointment. Additional information about committee composition can be found in the PHS Policy and the AWRs.

The committee is responsible for oversight and evaluation of the animal care and use program and its components described in this Guide. Its functions include inspection of facilities; evaluation of programs and animal-activity areas; submission of reports to responsible institutional officials; review of proposed uses of animals in research, testing, or education (i.e., protocols); and establishment of a mechanism for receipt and review of concerns involving the care and use of animals at the institution.

The IACUC must meet as often as necessary to fulfill its responsibilities, but it should meet at least once every 6 months. Records of committee meetings and of results of deliberations should be maintained. The committee should review the animal care program and inspect the animal facilities and activity areas at least once every 6 months. After review and inspection, a written report, signed by a majority of the IACUC, should be made to the responsible administrative officials of the institution on the status of the animal care and use program and

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