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Animal Use and Care in Research Policy

Federal regulations require that all procedures involving the use of vertebrate animals be approved by an Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) prior to initiation of the project. The DePauw University IACUC provides oversight for the animal care and use program at DePauw, which encompasses any use of vertebrate animals. The committee reviews all studies involving animal usage and inspects animal care facilities semiannually to ensure compliance with internationally accepted guidelines in the care and use of laboratory animals. Prior to initiation of any research project, testing, education, or any other use of vertebrates (fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds or mammals), the investigators must gain the approval of the IACUC.

The IACUC Protocol Review Process

  1. The first step in this process is to obtain a copy of the Animal Use Protocol Form (AUPF) from the IACUC Web site or the Academic Affairs Office. The AUPF is completed by the investigator and turned in to IACUC through the Academic Affairs Office. The form is designed to allow research investigators to address animal welfare considerations as well as provide other information required by the Animal Welfare Act and other laws and policies of the federal government and other agencies. The investigator may obtain a copy of the Animal Welfare Act and guidelines of various agencies from the websites cited at the end of this document or by contacting the Academic Affairs Office. The investigator is required to complete all sections of the AUPF according to the instructions therein. Any investigations involving students must have a faculty supervisor as the principal investigator who must submit the form and take supervisory responsibility throughout the project.
  2. The IACUC requires that the AUPF be submitted to Academic Affairs. To ensure timely review, initial applications should be submitted one month prior to the intended initiation date of the project. Revised protocols should be submitted to the IACUC two weeks prior to the intended initiation date of the project.
  3. The IACUC shall review and approve, require modification in, or withhold approval of the proposed project involving the use of animals. The person proposing the animal use will be notified in writing of the committee's decision, which will be one of the following:
    Approval - The project may commence.
    Approve/Revision - Minor revision or additional information is requested. Approval is withheld and the project may not commence until a satisfactory response is received.
    Disapproval - The reasons for disapproval are given, and the investigator may submit a revised protocol.
  4. The IACUC is authorized to suspend any project it has previously approved if it determines that the project is not being conducted in accordance with the approved project description provided by the principal investigator. The IACUC may suspend a project only after reviewing the matter at a convened meeting of a majority of the IACUC members who, by a majority vote, issue the suspension.

Membership of IACUC

The makeup of the IACUC is determined by federal guidelines. The committee is appointed annually by and reports to the Vice President for Academic Affairs. The Committee includes:

  1. A Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, with training or experience in laboratory animal sciences and medicine.
  2. A faculty member and an alternate from the Department of Biology with experience in research involving animals.
  3. A faculty member and an alternate from the Department of Psychology with experience in research involving animals.
  4. A member whose primary concerns are in a nonscientific area.
  5. An individual who is not affiliated with the institution in any way other than as a member of the IACUC. This individual represents community interests and concerns.

No member of the committee may review a project in which the member has a conflict of interest, such as a role as a participant in the project or those covered by the policy established by the Committee on Faculty and the Administration and published in the Personnel Policies section (Appendix 3) of the Academic Handbook. In this case the alternate will replace the regular committee member for this review.  For additional information, please see the IACUC website.