IACUC Policy: Institutional Animal Care and Use Program
Policy # IBT-102.00 IACUC Approval: January 27, 2014

To clearly defined roles within the program that align responsibility with regulatory and management authority.

This policy applies to the animal care and use program at Texas A&M Health Science Center.

It is an institutional responsibility to establish and provide sufficient resources to maintain an animal care and use program.

The Institutional Official (IO) bears the ultimate responsibility for the Animal Care and Use Program. 

The Attending Veterinarian (AV) is responsible for the health and well-being of all laboratory animals used at the institution. 

The institutional animal care and use committee (IACUC) is responsible for assessment and oversight of the institution’s program components and facilities.

 I. Program Management

US federal law creates a statutory basis for the institutional official, the attending veterinarian, and the institutional animal care and use committee. The primary oversight responsibilities in the Program rest with the IO, the AV, and the IACUC. Their roles fit in an organizational structure defined below:

a)      Institutional Official:
             i.            Bears the ultimate responsibility for the Animal care and use program.         
            ii.            Has the authority to allocate resources needed to ensure the program’s overall effectiveness, and allocates those
                             resources based on recommendations and advice from the IACUC, the veterinarian, and the IACUC professional staff.
           iii.             Appoints IACUC members as delegated by the CEO or equivalent in writing.
            iv.            Ensures the program has a qualified attending veterinarian.
             v.            Clearly define and assign responsibilities and reporting channels for other essential program elements such as
                             personnel training, occupational health and safety, and maintenance of facilities.

b)      Attending Veterinarian:
             i.            Has direct or delegated program authority for activities involving animals at the institution.
            ii.            Provide expertise on matters of animal health and welfare, including, but not limited to: use of proper anesthesia and 
                            analgesia in laboratory animals in the relief of pain and distress; discussion of the possible complications related to 
                            procedures used or a disease model proposed; provide a review of the plans for appropriate and timely medical |
           iii.            Provide consultation to investigators on design and implementation of study proposals.

c)   Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee:
              i.            Semi-annually review the entire animal program, inspect facilities, and provide a report of the findings to the IO.
             ii.            Review concerns involving animals at the institution.
            iii.            Make recommendations to the IO regarding any aspect of the animals program, facilities, or personnel training.
            iv.            Has the authority to grant approval and/or suspend animal use at the institution.
             v.            Meet as often as necessary to fulfill its responsibilities, and records of the committee meetings and results of 
                             deliberations are maintained (Guide, 2011).
            vi.            Serve as facilitator, interacting with various programs, committees, and individuals to ensure the existence of a 
                             comprehensive occupational health and safety program and compliance with the Guide.
          vii.            Provide training for researchers and their staff, assist researchers with meeting the expectations of the IACUC, and 
                             facilitate interactions with regulatory agencies.
         viii.            Represent society's concerns regarding the welfare of animal subjects use.
            ix.            Keep abreast of changes in animal use legislation and guidelines.

II. IACUC Composition
Committee membership includes the following:
          a)      IACUC Chairperson: The chairperson needs to be knowledgeable and effective as a leader. This individual needs to have the full
                    support of the Institutional Officer and sufficient stature to perform the functions of the positions without jeopardy to career or
                    position. The chairperson plays an active role in the oversight of all IACUC activities.
          b)     Veterinarian: A veterinarian with direct or delegated program responsibility to the IACUC. The veterinarian with program
                    responsibility must have training or experience in laboratory animal science and medicine or in the care of the species being used.
          c)     Non-Affiliated Member: Someone who is not affiliated with the Texas A & M Health Science Center and in any manner, intended to
                   represent the general community interests in the proper care and treatment of animals. This person may not be the immediate
                   family of a person affiliated with the institution. Public members should not be laboratory animal users.
                   (AWAR 2.31,b,3,ii;PHS Policy IV, A, 3,b,4)
          d)    Non-Scientist: A person whose primary concern is in a non-scientific area having no obvious connections to any area of science.
                   Individuals may have some scientific training, but clearly do not qualify as a practicing scientist with experience in research involving
          e)     Scientist: A practicing scientist knowledgeable about the types of research and teaching being reviewed and conducted; at least one
                   with laboratory animal experience. No more than three scientists from one department/administrative unit should be on the IACUC.


    1. Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA. US Animal Welfare Act (AWA 1990) and Regulations (PL-89-544, as amended, 7USC Ch. 54) 2008. CFR Title 9, Subchapter A - Animal Welfare. U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C.
    2. National Research Council. Institute for Laboratory Animal Research. 2011. Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals. Public Health Service, Bethesda, MD.
    3. Public Health Service Policy on Humane Care and Use of Laboratory Animals http://grants.nih.gov/grants/olaw/references/phspol.htm.
    4. Silverman, Jerald, et.al. 2000. The IACUC Handbook: The Basic Unit of an Effective Animal Care and Use Program. Baltimore, MD.
    5. ARENA/OLAW Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee Guidebook, 2nd Ed. 2002.


Version 00 -  Initial Approval: January 27, 2014