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The Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee advises the university administration in matters dealing with animal care and use and oversees UNL’s compliance with all applicable federal, state and institutional policies, laws and regulations.
The scope of the IACUC’s charge is broad. Generally, any university activity involving animals at any UNL animal facility (on campus or at any satellite facility) is monitored by the IACUC. Every six months, the IACUC evaluates facilities and programs within each university unit performing research, teaching and/or extension involving the use of animals.
Further, the IACUC reviews all protocols for the use of animals in teaching, research and extension. A project is first reviewed in its proposal stage, even before any research or other activity begins. Each approved project is re-evaluated at least annually. Criteria for approval are determined by the most current federal laws and policies.
The IACUC has the authority to approve or disapprove a project, require modifications, or withdraw approval of any project not being conducted in accordance with the approved protocol or not in compliance with federal, state and local regulations.
The IACUC is composed of members representing the diversity of the university and local community. Board members are appointed by the associate vice chancellor for research for staggered terms of three years. The IACUC is administered through the Institutional Animal Care Program, located in 110 Mussehl Hall on East Campus.
Basic Criteria of IACUC Review
In assessing the adequacy of care and use of animals in research, the IACUC considers a number of basic criteria, specifically whether:
- An acceptable rationale is provided for using animals and justification and appropriateness of species and numbers to be used is described.
- A complete description is provided of proposed use, appropriate husbandry and housing that assures comfortable living conditions and well-being of the animals.
- Procedures with animals avoid or minimize discomfort, distress and pain and are consistent with sound research design or educational use.
- Procedures that may cause more than momentary or slight pain or distress to the animals will be performed with appropriate sedation, anesthesia and analgesia or, if not, scientific justification is provided.
- Personnel conducting procedures or caring for the species being maintained or studied are appropriately qualified and trained.
- The method of euthanasia, used, if necessary, is consistent with the recommendations of the American Veterinary Medical Association guidelines.