Take home message: Animal use at U-M requires approval from the Institutional Animal Care & Use Committee (IACUC). The IACUC ensures that the highest animal welfare standards are maintained along with the conduct of accurate, valid scientific research through the supervision, coordination, training, guidance, and review of every project proposed to include the use of vertebrate animals at the University of Michigan.
Training is required for all personnel who work with animals in research, testing, and/or teaching. Training is assigned based on the specific tasks listed in an animal use protocol, and must be completed prior to beginning work with animals.
- The Policy for the Use of Vertebrate Animals assures the humane use and care of vertebrate animals used in research, instruction, or testing at the University of Michigan. It further guarantees that any reported concerns regarding the care and use of vertebrate animals are investigated and addressed in a timely and professional manner.
- Vice President for Research is the designated Institutional Official (IO) who bears ultimate responsibility for U-M’s Animal Care & Use Program. The IO works closely with the Assistant Vice President for Research – Animal Compliance Oversight and Director of the Animal Care & Use Office; the Assistant Vice President for Research – Animal Resources and U-M Attending Veterinarian; and the Institutional Animal Care & Use Committee Chair to oversee all aspects of animal research at the University of Michigan. Information about the rules and regulations that govern animal care and use at the University are available on the Animal Care & Use Program website. Animal care and use policies, guidelines, and Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) are available on the Animal Care Research A-Z website.
- The Institutional Animal Care & Use Committee (IACUC) is ultimately responsible for approving, requiring modification of, or prohibiting the use of vertebrate animals in research, teaching, and/or testing activities at the University of Michigan. This includes supervision, coordination, training, guidance, and review of every project proposed to include the use of vertebrate animals to ensure that the project has appropriate scientific merit.
- The Animal Care & Use Office works hand-in-hand with researchers and the IACUC to ensure that all projects adhere to University policies and federal laws that require a review of projects for the humane treatment and judicious use of vertebrate animals.
- The Unit for Laboratory Animal Medicine (ULAM) provides veterinary care to all animals housed on U-M’s campus. ULAM also manages animal ordering and acquisition, animal transport, animal husbandry and housing, personnel training, animal enrichment, and specialized research support services. To ensure that procedures are conducted by experienced and qualified personnel, the IACUC requires training for all individuals who work with animals in research, testing, and/or teaching. Training is assigned based on the specific tasks listed in an animal use protocol, and must be completed PRIOR TO beginning work with animals. Additional information, including a summary of animal care training requirements, is available on the Animal Care & Use Program website. See also the PEERRS online introduction to animal research.
- Principal Investigators and Course Directors MUST obtain approval from the Institutional Animal Care & Use Committee (IACUC) before initiating any research, testing, or instructional projects involving the use of vertebrate animals. Animal ordering and transport should be coordinated through the Unit for Laboratory Animal Medicine (ULAM); ULAM Faculty Veterinarians are also available to consult on a variety of topics, including IACUC protocol preparation and the policies of granting and regulatory agencies as they pertain to animal care and use.
- Failure to obtain proper approval and/or exemption from the IACUC is a violation of federal law. Lack of appropriate approvals may also compromise your ability to publish research findings, affect grant funding, and lead to professional disciplinary action, including being barred from conducting further research involving animals.
- IACUC approval may not be the ONLY approval required for animal research – if your project involves humans, drugs, radiation, tissue, biomedical devices or a range of other technologies or agents, you may need to get additional approval. See the Research Compliance Overview for a checklist of issues requiring special consideration or approval.
If you want to report an allegation of misuse, maltreatment, or non-compliance concerning animals, you can call the Animal Concern Hotline at (734) 763-8028 or submit a report online at animalcare.umich.edu/hotline. Anonymous reports are acceptable, and all are investigated.
Established 3/4/11, last updated 7/10/18 – Contact us if you believe any information is incorrect or outdated.