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Policy: Review of Animal Use at the University of Illinois (IACUC)

Policy: Review of Animal Use at the University of Illinois (IACUC)


  • All research, teaching, and outreach activities at the University of Illinois involving vertebrate animals must be approved by the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) before the activity begins.
  • Once the activity begins, any proposed changes must be submitted to the IACUC as a major or minor amendment to the protocol. Changes must be reviewed and approved by the IACUC before they are implemented.
  • The approval is for a 3-year period; the IACUC conducts mandatory annual reviews.
  • If the approved use of animals is expected to continue beyond three years, a new Proposal for Activities Involving Animals must be submitted to the IACUC, reviewed, and approved before the active protocol expires.


The U of I is registered with the United States Department of Agriculture as a research facility in accordance with the Animal Welfare Act (Public Law 89-544) and the Public Health Service Policy on the Humane Care and Use of Laboratory Animals. The U of I maintains an animal welfare assurance with the Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare, National Institutes of Health.

Procedure to Receive IACUC Approval

Initial submission, review, and approval process:
1. The principal investigator (PI) submits a Proposal for Activities Involving Animals (protocol) to the IACUC.
2. The IACUC staff pre-reviews the protocol for completeness.
3. An IACUC committee member does a first review.
4. A veterinarian familiar with the requested species does a first review.
5. IACUC and Occupational Health and Safety training for personnel is verified complete.
6. The Division of Research Safety (DRS) confirms that requirements for biological, chemical, and radiation safety have been satisfied.
7. The PI submits requested changes, corrections, or clarifications.
8. A quorum of the IACUC reviews the protocol and will:
     a. Approve;
     b. Require modifications to secure approval; or
     c. Withhold approval of proposed activities.
9. The PI receives written notification of approvals from the IACUC office and can begin using animals.

To amend an approved protocol:
1. Submit changes to an IACUC Proposal for Activities Involving Animals, such as the addition or removal of personnel, addition of new procedures, changes in numbers of animals, changes in numbers or types of sampling of live animals, and other changes.
2. The IACUC will review the requested changes and then approve, require modifications to secure approval, or withhold approval.
3. The PI will be notified in writing of the decision.


Role of the IACUC:
Federal regulations require each institution using vertebrate animals in research, teaching, or testing to appoint an institutional animal care and use committee that provides oversight to the animal use program. The IACUC fulfills this requirement at the U of I. It is composed of research scientists, veterinarians, non-scientists, and community members in accordance with federal law and policies.

Role of the Principal Investigator:
The principal investigator (PI) is responsible for securing IACUC approval for any proposed use of animals or changes to approved use of animals. The PI is also responsible for ensuring that all personnel working under his/her direction have adequate training and are knowledgeable about the animal use activities for which they are approved.

Role of the Agricultural Animal Care and Use Program (AACUP) and the Division of Animal Resources:
DAR and AACUP report to the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and administer the animal care and use program, provide training in the humane care and use of animals, and administer the program of veterinary care. The DAR and AACUP may establish standards and procedures necessary for implementation of IACUC policies and requirements, for complying with directions from the Attending Veterinarians, and for business management of the program of veterinary care or the program of animal care and use.

Role of the Occupational Health and Safety Program (OHS)
OHS identifies and assesses health and safety risks to personnel working with or around animals. The OHS specialist and medical reviewer collaborate with the IACUC and other units to provide education, training, and medical recommendations to animal caretakers and users.


Approved: 3/4/1999
Updated: 6/6/17


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