Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC)
California State University, Fullerton (CSUF) is committed to the humane care and use of animals in teaching and research. This commitment is reflected in the presence of an accredited and state-licensed Veterinarian and Certified Laboratory Animal Technologist/Registered Veterinarian Technician, who have, as their principal concern, the health and welfare of animals. CSUF has a designated Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC), which is composed of a panel of experts on animal health and welfare, life and behavioral sciences, laboratory safety and federal regulations, as well as a representative from the community at large.
These individuals review all teaching and research projects that involve vertebrate animals to ensure that
- use of animals is justified,
- the number of animals used is appropriate,
- the procedures are done in a humane fashion, and
- all individuals involved are properly trained.
IACUC reviews are guided in part by law, as dictated by the Federal Animal Welfare Act, which is administered by the USDA. The IACUC conducts a semi-annual review of institutional programs for the humane care and use of animals and also conducts semi-annual inspections of all facilities where animals are used or held for more than 12 hours. Their findings are reported to CSUF's Institutional Official and to NIH, which also regulates animal care and use at institutions that receive federal funding. These findings are also reviewed by the USDA during its semi-annual unannounced inspections. CSUF adheres to the regulations published by the USDA, as well as to the regulations and guidelines set forth by NIH in the Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals and in other guidelines and policy statements (see IACUC Guidelines and Policy Statements ).
The use of animals in teaching and research is closely regulated by the federal government. In addition, other federal, state and local regulations may affect specific aspects of animal care and use, e.g., housing or the need for additional permits to collect or house certain species. Knowledge and compliance of regulations is important, as the penalties for non-compliance can be severe and far-reaching. Both USDA and NIH have the power to suspend or discontinue all or part of the animal care and use activities on campus. Moreover, federal funding agencies, such as NIH, NSF and other federal agencies, may withdraw funding for a specific project or all projects should compliance not be met.
As part of these requirements and its commitment to animal welfare, CSUF has procedures in place for reporting concerns regarding animal care and use on campus. Individuals with concerns may approach the IACUC Chair, Campus Veterinarian, Director of Animal Care, or Principal Investigator of a project with their concerns.
All faculty, staff and students using animals are expected to be aware of IACUC policies, as spelled out in the CSUF Handbook, and must comply with the requirements of the specific protocols associated with their activities.