Role of the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC)
The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) at all institutions conducting animal research must appoint an Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) to oversee and evaluate the institutions animal care and use program and facilities to assure that they are consistent with the National Research Councils Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals, the Animal Welfare Regulations (AWR) promulgated by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), and the Public Health Service (PHS) Policy on Humane Care and Use of Laboratory Animals.
According to the regulations, the role of the IACUC is to:
- Review and approve, require modifications, or withhold approval of activities related to the care and use of animals.
- Review and approve, require modifications, or withhold approval of significant changes regarding the use of animals in ongoing activities.
- Review the animal care and use program at least once every six months.
- Inspect the animal care facility at least once every six months.
- Inspect survival surgery areas at least once every six months.
- Prepare a report of the findings of the semi-annual reviews and inspections and submit it to the Institutional Official (IO). The report must distinguish between major and minor deficiencies and include a timetable for corrective action(s).
- Review concerns involving the care and use of animals at Northeast Ohio Medical University.
- Make recommendations to the IO regarding the animal care program, facilities, and/or personnel training.
- Suspend any activity involving animals for due cause.
- Conduct annual reviews of each previously approved, ongoing animal use activity including a complete review at least once every three years.
- Notify investigators and the IO in writing of its decision to approve or withhold approval of the protocol.
If the IACUC decides to withhold approval of an activity, it shall include in its written notification a statement of the reasons for its decision and give the investigator an opportunity to respond in person or in writing.
The IACUC may suspend an activity that it previously approved if it determines that the activity is not being conducted in accordance with the IACUC-approved protocol. The IACUC may suspend an activity only after review of the matter at a convened meeting of a quorum of the IACUC and with the suspension vote of a majority of the quorum present.
If the IACUC suspends an activity involving animals, the IO in consultation with the IACUC shall review the reasons for suspension, take appropriate corrective action, and report that action with a full explanation to the Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare (OLAW).
According to the PHS Policy on the Humane Care and Use of Laboratory Animals, the IACUC must consist of not less than five (5) members, and shall include at least one (1) Doctor of Veterinary Medicine with training or experience in laboratory animal science and medicine, one (1) practicing scientist experienced in research involving animals, one (1) member whose primary concerns are in a nonscientific area, and one (1) individual who is not affiliated with the institution in any way other than as an IACUC member.
The IACUC at Northeast Ohio Medical University includes not only those members required by the PHS, but also a representative from each department within the medical sciences and pharmacy divisions as well as a technical representative.