IACUC Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)


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  1. What does IACUC stand for? Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee.
  2. How often does the IACUC meet? Once a month on the fourth Tuesday of the month, except for November and December. A complete schedule can be viewed at the IACUC Meeting Dates webpage.
  3. How soon after the meeting can I expect to hear back from the IACUC? IACUC Coordinators send all meeting correspondence within 3-7 business days following the meeting. Correspondence will be sent via eProtocol or email.
  4. Why is the deadline 2 weeks before the monthly meeting? IACUC Members need time to read and comment on all of the protocols in the between the submission deadline and the meeting. The timeline is typically as follows:
    1. Protocols submitted 2nd Tuesday.
    2. RICRO intakes protocols.
    3. RICRO sends to Veterinarians for pre-review.
    4. Veterinarians submit comments.
    5. RICRO sends all pre-review comments to PI.
    6. PI responds to comments.
    7. RICRO sends out all updated protocols to IACUC for review the week before the meeting.
    8. IACUC discusses protocols at the meeting on the 4th Tuesday.
  5. I’m working with another institution. What do I need, as far as IACUC approvals?CSU IACUC allows its researchers involved in such collaborations to complete an Inter-institutional Agreement Form (IIA). Please contact an IACUC Coordinator if you need to submit an IIA.
  6. I’m only using farm animals. Do I still need IACUC approval? Yes. Please see CSU IACUC “Policy on the Use of Live Vertebrate Animals for Research, Testing and Teaching” (CSU IACUC Policies webpage)

    CSU IACUC reviews all protocols involving any live vertebrate animal and does not exempt those involving farm animals under a “Food and Fiber Exemption.” Protocols involving “farm animals for activities related to traditional, production agricultural purposes” are, however, eligible for Designated Member Review. Simply submit the application using eProtocol and an IACUC Coordinator will contact you.

  7. What should I do before:
    1. Using animals in research or teaching at CSU? You will need to submit an IACUC protocol and secure approval.
    2. Using animals in research or teaching at another institution? You may be able to submit an IIA Form.
    3. Using client-owned or wild animals in research or teaching? Submit an IACUC protocol and secure approval.

    Please refer to CSU IACUC “Policy on the Use of Live Vertebrate Animals for Research, Testing and Teaching” (see this policy on the CSU IACUC Policies webpage).

    Many funding agencies have specific time requirements about when they need to receive evidence of IACUC approval. If you do not submit a protocol application at the same time as you submit your grant proposal, your research may not be reviewed by the funding source, or may be delayed, while IACUC approval is obtained.

  8. Do I need an IACUC approval for field studies or behavioral studies? Yes. Field studies and behavioral research conducted in the field must be covered by an approved protocol. Even studies that do not involve direct contact with vertebrate animals may need IACUC Protocol. To find out, submit a query at the IACUC Ask a Question website.
  9. What are the laws that regulate the care and use of laboratory animals? In the United States:
    1. Animal Welfare Act (AWA) enforced by United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)
    2. Public Health Service Policy on Humane Care and Use of Laboratory Animals (PHS Policy) enforced by Office for Laboratory Animal Welfare (OLAW) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH)

    Some states and cities also have animal welfare laws that include laboratory animals. The institution must register with the USDA, and may be inspected at any time, without notice.

    The PHS Policy covers all cold- and warm-blooded vertebrates used in research, testing, or teaching funded by any of the PHS agencies (e.g. NIH, CDC, FDA), as well as NSF. The PHS Policy utilizes The Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals (The Guide) as the guidelines and standards with which institutions must comply.

    To receive PHS funds the institution must apply for, and if approved, maintain an Animal Welfare Assurance with OLAW. CSU holds an accreditation from the Association for Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care, International (AAALAC). AAALAC is a private nonprofit organization that promotes the humane treatment of animals in science through a voluntary accreditation program.

  10. Who are the members of the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC)? Although AWA and PHS Policy differ slightly in the membership requirements, the core membership of an IACUC must include:
    1. a veterinarian with experience and/or training in the care and use of laboratory animals (with authority over the animals at the institution)
    2. a person not affiliated with the institution (represents the community’s interests)
    3. a practicing scientist experienced in research involving animals
    4. and one non-scientist

    One individual must serve as Chair. In addition to these requirements, CSU’s IACUC membership also includes a bioethicist, representatives from departments using animals in research, as well as a statistician and a veterinary anesthesiologist.

  11. Why do I have to submit a new application every three years?PHS Policy states that the IACUC must perform a de novo review every three years (we call this a 4th year renewal). Under the Animal Welfare Act, the IACUC must review an ongoing protocol every year. In order to satisfy both agencies, the IACUC performs annual review of protocols (Continuing Reviews), as well as reviews new protocols.
  12. What do I do if I have a complaint or concern about animal care?The IACUC takes seriously all concerns regarding the care and use of animals at the institution, regardless of who submits the concern. Concerns may be reported in a number of ways: in person, via phone call, email, or anonymously online or via phone. See the CSU IACUC Reporting Animal Welfare Concerns website for more information.

    If an individual wishes to report any incident or concern at any time, the following Contacts are available:
    Mark Zabel, IACUC Chair, 491-1455
    Bernard Rollin, University Bioethicist, 491-6885
    Lon Kendall, Attending Veterinarian, 491-5903
    Karen Dobos, RICRO Director, 491-2229
    Alan Rudolph, Vice President for Research, 491-7194

    Any member of the IACUC may also be contacted with concerns. The IACUC will investigate each concern in as confidential a manner as possible. Those registering complaints need not give personal information.

  13. What are CSU’s PHS Assurance, USDA Registration Number, and AAALAC Accreditation Information? CSU Animal Care and Use Program is PHS Assured, USDA Registered, and AAALAC accredited. AAALAC accreditation covers CSU Colleges of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Natural Sciences, and Applied Human Sciences.
    Agency Assurance/Registration/Accreditation # Effective Dates
    PHS, OLAW Animal Welfare Assurance A3572-01 7/10/2014 – 6/30/2018
    USDA Registration 84-R-0003
    AAALAC Accreditation #000834 6/25/2015

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