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Guidelines for Determining when IACUC Oversight is Required for Research, Teaching, Demonstration and Extension Activities Using Animals

Guidelines for Determining when IACUC Oversight is Required for Research, Teaching, Demonstration and Extension Activities Using Animals

The University of Illinois IACUC has established the following guidelines to clarify when animal activities require IACUC oversight and an IACUC approved protocol. If you are not sure if your proposed animal use activity requires IACUC approval, please call the University of Illinois IACUC Office at (217) 333-7789 or e-mail the office at IACUC@illinois.edu.

Activities that Require IACUC Approval

Research and Teaching Activities

  • Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) approval is required before conducting research and teaching activities involving animals if ANY of the following categories apply:

    Activities are to be conducted

    • with animals owned or leased by the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana
    • with free-living vertebrate wildlife if studies involve more than unobtrusive observation of animals in their natural habitats. Examples include invasive studies and studies with the potential to cause harm or materially alter the behavior of the animals.
    • by University of Illinois employees in their official roles as faculty or staff members
    • on property owned, leased, or managed by the University of Illinois
    • using internal or external funds administered through the University of Illinois
  • Teaching and research activities, including clinical trials, conducted with privately owned animals must be reviewed by the IACUC.
  • Research or teaching conducted in collaboration with another institution or organization, including commercial entities, must be approved by an IACUC. When a protocol has been reviewed and approved by another institution’s IACUC, the Illinois IACUC may not require additional review and approval. However, the Principal Investigator (PI) must inform the Illinois IACUC of the activity, and the Illinois IACUC must have documentation of IACUC approval from the collaborating institution before an acceptance decision can be made.

    Examples of situations in which the Illinois IACUC may accept another institution’s IACUC approval include:

    • sub-contracts using funds disbursed through the University of Illinois, where animal use is conducted at the collaborating institution
    • custom (i.e., not “off the shelf”) antibody production by a commercial company
    • custom animal testing of a compound supplied by a University of Illinois employee
    • research on free-living animals conducted on University of Illinois property by researchers from another institution

Demonstrations and Extension Activities

  • IACUC approval is required if demonstrations or extension activities are conducted using animals owned by the University of Illinois or on property owned, leased or managed by the University of Illinois.

Activities that Do Not Require IACUC Approval

Research and Teaching Activities

  • IACUC approval is NOT required for veterinarians affiliated with the University of Illinois to train veterinary students, residents, or interns in the course of delivering clinical veterinary services during clinical rotations.
  • IACUC approval is NOT required for use of animal-derived data when the investigator or his/her personnel did not intentionally participate in producing the data, either via activities or funding. For example, previously collected data from clinical cases may be used in retrospective studies without IACUC approval.
  • Research and teaching activities using cadavers or tissues from dead animals do NOT require a protocol UNLESS the cadavers or tissues are to be acquired from animals specifically purchased or euthanized for the activity or the recipient will influence the timing or method of euthanasia.

    Examples of situations that do not require an IACUC protocol include use of:

    • unused or discarded carcasses when the recipient has no influence over the timing or method of euthanasia
    • unused or discarded clinical samples
    • slaughterhouse tissues when the animal was not slaughtered specifically for the activity
    • archival tissues from tissue banks, museum collections or similar sources
  • Student participation in educational or research activities at non-Illinois sites does NOT require IACUC protocol UNLESS those activities involve Illinois-owned animals or Illinois personnel influence (i.e., conduct or direct) animal use.

Demonstration and Extension Activities

  • IACUC approval is not required for demonstrations or extension activities conducted at non-Illinois sites with privately owned animals EXCEPT IN THE RARE INSTANCES in which the activities are coupled with a research project or course. (For example: performing a procedure on a privately owned animal for demonstration and then enrolling the animal in a study).

Tracking of Animal Use

  • The PI must specify and justify in the IACUC protocol the number of animals requested for research, teaching, demonstration or extension.
  • The Division of Animal Resources (DAR) and Agricultural Animal Care and Use Program (AACUP) must track the number of animals used on protocols, for reporting to the USDA. Tracking of animal use is usually accomplished through the census of the animal ordering system or by the Illinois facility managers. However, principal investigators are responsible for reporting the use of client-owned or other privately owned animals to DAR or AACUP when using USDA-regulated species. USDA-regulated species include live or dead dogs, cats, nonhuman primates, guinea pigs, hamsters, rabbits, mammalian wildlife, and horses or other agricultural animals used in biomedical research or teaching of medical students, including veterinary students.

IACUC Inspections of Animal Housing Facilities, Animal Use Areas, Transportation Vehicles

  • The IACUC conducts semi-annual inspections of all facilities owned by the University of Illinois where animal research or teaching is conducted or animals are housed for more than 12 hours.
  • The IACUC does not inspect privately owned facilities unless the animals are owned by the University of Illinois or the USDA regulates the species being used (e.g. live or dead dog, cat, nonhuman primate, guinea pig, hamster, rabbit, mammalian wildlife, or horses or other agricultural animals used in biomedical research or teaching of medical students, including veterinary students).
  • The IACUC conducts semi-annual inspections of University of Illinois owned vehicles and trailers used to transport animals. Privately owned vehicles used to transport USDA covered species are also inspected semi-annually.

The Illinois IACUC does not inspect zoological parks or facilities belonging to other Universities or registered research institutions that host collaborative projects involving Illinois personnel. Such institutions should be overseen and inspected by their own IACUCs. Exceptions may be necessary in certain circumstances in order to meet expectations of OLAW, USDA, or AAALAC.

  • While the USDA states that the IACUC is not required to inspect the study areas of free-living animals in their natural habitats, it does require semi-annual inspections of all study areas, including facilities and primary enclosures where regulated animals (such as mammalian wildlife) are held for over 12 hours. The IACUC recognizes that there may be situations, such as remote field studies, in which regulated wildlife must be held for more than 12 hours at an unconventional site. If such a situation is anticipated, the investigator must include in the IACUC protocol a description of the primary enclosures to be used, such as plastic tubs or kennels, and these enclosures must be available for inspection during semi-annual IACUC inspections.
  • Buildings owned/leased by the University where captured wildlife may be held or housed for more than 12 hours during processing or other procedures will be inspected semiannually (mammals) or at least annually (non-mammals) while in use.

Updated 6/8/2020