About the IACUC
The responsibility of the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) is to oversee the provisions for the care and well-being of animals used for research, teaching, and testing at The University of Texas at Austin. The IACUC is also committed to serving the public by ensuring conformance to all legal and ethical standards regarding the use of animals in research. In addition, the IACUC is engaged in assisting animal research investigators with their animal-related needs.
Why must we have an IACUC?
All institutions that use vertebrate animals for research, teaching, research training and biological testing are required to create an Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) to oversee and evaluate all aspects of the institution's animal care and use program. The IACUC is a self-regulating body which derives its existence from two sources:
- The Animal Welfare Act and its amendments, which are administered by the USDA through the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), and
- The Health Research Extension Act and its amendments, which are administered by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) through the Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare (OLAW).
In addition, The University of Texas at Austin is fully accredited by The Association for the Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care, International (AAALAC), a voluntary, non-governmental association.
Who sits on the IACUC?
The IACUC must be comprised of a minimum of five members including:
- a veterinarian with program responsibilities
- a scientist experienced in laboratory animal procedures
- a non-scientist
- a non-affiliate (a person who has no other affiliation with the organization other than sitting on the IACUC committee.)
What are the responsibilities of the IACUC?
The responsibilities of the IACUC include, but are not limited to:
- Inspect all of the animal facilities, including animal study areas and satellite facilities at least once every six months.
- Review the animal resource center's program for the utilization of animals in research at least once every six months.
- Review and approve, require modifications to, or withhold approval to animal care and use protocols.
- Review and investigate legitimate concerns involving the care and use of laboratory animals resulting from public, employee or student complaints. Serious or continuing non-compliance will be reported to the appropriate agency.
- Suspend an activity involving animals if non-compliance is verified; take corrective action and report non-compliance to funding agencies.