Does Your Research Involve Vertebrate Animals?
Research is a systematic investigation designed to develop or contribute to general knowledge. The scientific rationale underlying the use of animals in research is that a living organism provides an interactive, dynamic system that can be observed and manipulated experimentally in order to investigate mechanisms of normal development and function, behavior and disease. As a result, a greater understanding of living systems can be attained and this knowledge can be used to improve the health and welfare of the species being studied and generalized to other species, including humans, facilitating the development of effective therapies.
IACUC Approval Requirements
Any research, research training, teaching, experimentation or biological testing for related purposes involving any live, vertebrate animal conducted by faculty, students, staff or others on any UNL premises, or elsewhere in connection with one’s institutional responsibilities, requires Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee approval before the investigation or activity can begin. UNL students enrolled in graduate programs need IACUC approval for thesis or dissertation projects that involve animals. Faculty members supervising undergraduate animal research projects also need IACUC approval for that work.
Compliance Requirements for the Care and Use of Animals
UNL is registered as a single research and teaching facility with both the USDA and the Public Health Service. Thus, the care and use of animals at UNL is regulated by federal law and by this institution’s commitment to the Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare (OLAW) through its institutional assurance statement. This requires adherence to the Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals (National Academies Press, 1996) for research using laboratory animals and biomedical research using agricultural animals. Research using production animals must comply with the Guide for the Care and Use of Agricultural Animals in Research and Teaching. In addition, the PHS Policy on Humane Care and Use of Laboratory Animals includes Principles for the Utilization and Care of Vertebrate Animals, to which adherence is required. The USDA has jurisdiction over use of wild vertebrates including birds.
Guidelines for the Care and Use of Wildlife
To ensure proper care and use of wildlife species, investigators should follow guidelines established by national and/or regional wildlife and biological societies for the specific group of animals being used (avian, mammals, reptiles, amphibians or fish).