Federally Mandated Functions of the IACUC
- Review, at least once every six months, the research facilities program for the humane care and use of animals using The Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals (PHS Policy, also referred to as “The Guide”) and Title 9, Chapter 1, Subchapter A-Animal Welfare of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) as a basis for evaluation.
- Inspect, at least once every six months, all of the institution’s animal facilities. PHS Policy requires the inspection of satellite holding facilities (areas outside the core facility in which animals are held for more than 24 hours) and areas in which surgical manipulations are performed. USDA Regulations require the inspection of animal study areas where animals are housed for more than 12 hours (for USDA regulated species).
- Prepare reports of the IACUC evaluations and submit reports to the Institutional Official (IO). Reports must distinguish significant deficiencies from minor deficiencies and must contain a reasonable and specific plan and schedule for correcting each deficiency. A significant deficiency is one that is or may be a threat to the health and safety of animals. For USDA regulated species, a significant deficiency remaining uncorrected beyond the scheduled correction date shall be reported in writing to the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service ( APHIS) and any federal agency funding that activity. The reports shall be made available to the Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare (OLAW) upon request.
- Review, and if warranted, investigate concerns involving the care and use of animals at the institution. This includes public complaints and reports of noncompliance received from laboratory of research facility personnel or employees.
- Make recommendations to the IO regarding any aspects of the animal program, facilities, or personnel training.
- Review and approve, require modifications in, or withhold approval of those components of proposed activities related to the care and use of animals.
- Review and approve, require modifications in, or withhold approval of proposed significant changes regarding the care and use of animals in on-going activities.
- Be authorized to suspend an activity involving animals if it determines that the activity is not being conducted in accordance with the description provided by the investigator and approved by the IACUC (USDA Regulations), or if the activity is not being conducted in accordance with PHS Policy.
The functions listed above are granted to the IACUC by federal law. The institution, however, may grant additional powers to the committee as long as these do not conflict with federal regulations.