Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee
The Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) ensures that all vertebrate animals involved in teaching or research at Washington State University receive ethical and humane care and treatment.
What the IACUC does
Oversight to protect animals
The IACUC reviews all WSU research and teaching protocols that involve live vertebrate animals. These studies must have the IACUC’s approval before they can begin.
The committee has the authority to amend, disapprove, suspend, and terminate studies that fail to meet rigorous standards set forth by University policies and federal regulations.
It also has the authority to do the following:
- Inspect animal housing facilities
- Evaluate the University’s animal care and use program and make recommendations
- Prepare and submit reports of the IACUC’s evaluations to University officials, regulatory bodies, and accreditation agencies
In compliance with federal regulations, the IACUC provides training to all individuals working with live vertebrate animals at WSU. Training is required for researchers as well as animal care and husbandry personnel.
The IACUC supplies informational resources to investigators, animal managers, and students to guide them in their research and teaching activities involving animals.
Why the IACUC strictly monitors WSU animals
Washington State University takes the responsibility of animal care very seriously. Working in concert with the Office of the Campus Veterinarian and federal regulatory agencies, the IACUC strictly enforces the law so that humane animal treatment is uncompromised. If you are a researcher, even minor violations may affect continued support from your funding agency.
IACUC oversight helps researchers conduct safe and ethically sound investigations. It ensures that animals receive the best possible care.
When you need IACUC approval
You must seek IACUC approval if:
- You are doing research, teaching, or breeding that involves live vertebrate animals, and
- You are working under the auspices of Washington State University
If your project meets both of these criteria, it must undergo IACUC review regardless of your funding source or species studied.
How to seek IACUC review
Take the following steps:
- Download and complete the PDF version of the Animal Subject Approval Form (ASAF)
The ASAF details the protocol you will follow to care for any WSU-owned animal. The IACUC reviews this document for compliance with federal regulations and university policies. Be advised: The ASAF is very complex and comprehensive. If you need help completing the forms, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit iacuc.wsu.edu/forms.asp.
- Submit your ASAF
Allow ample time for review. Depending upon the complexity of your protocol, a response could several weeks or even months. Protocols are sent to all committee members for initial assessment. They are assigned to selected IACUC members for review.
At all times, the IACUC has the power to categorically reject a proposed study due to various reasons. IACUC acts independently in this regard.
Continuing review of approved activities
Once a protocol has been approved, it is renewed annually.
If you are an investigator, you must submit an annual renewal form. After two annual renewals, you must resubmit the entire protocol and all supporting documents to the IACUC for a 3-year review.
To make any changes to an approved IACUC protocol, you must file an amendment. IACUC must approve that amendment before your changes can be implemented.
For full details on the IACUC review process, consult the WSU Handbook for IACUC (pdf).
Who is on the committee?
The IACUC has 10 to 15 members with a range of expertise as scientists and specialists. It also includes members of the public who have no affiliation with WSU. The WSU president appoints IACUC members on the recommendation of the vice president for research.
The committee draws upon decades of expertise and a diverse portfolio of knowledge to render impartial, carefully considered decisions to protect the welfare of animals.
IACUC members include the following:
- Chair who is a full or associate professor at WSU
- Practicing scientist with experience in research involving animals
- Doctor of veterinary medicine
- Community member not affiliated with the university
- Expert in a non-scientific area
- Faculty or staff member with expertise in the care and involvement of animals in instruction or research
July 2016 Updates
June 2016 updates
Now available for downloading: “Reporting adverse/unanticipated events.”
This form is a part of an IACUC initiative to improve reporting and communication regarding adverse or unanticipated events with research or teaching animals.
Name changes for mandatory trainings
- Animal Awareness Seminar (AAS) has been renamed as Principles of Animal Care (PAC).
- Animal Contact Program (ACP) has been renamed as Occupational Health Training—Animals (OHT-A).
Refresher training for PAC
- Beginning September 1, 2016, all personnel who have previously completed PAC will participate in a PAC refresher course. The refresher training must be completed once every 3 years or as required.
- OHT-A also must be completed once every 3 years or as required.
- New personnel will proceed with the regular training of PAC.
The WSU animal care program and facilities have earned AAALAC accreditation. This accreditation demonstrates WSU’s commitment to responsible animal care and use, while supporting advancement of science for human and animal welfare. In addition to complying with local, state, and federal laws that regulate animal research, WSU voluntarily participates in AAALAC’s program.