Office of Research, UC Riverside
Office of Research Integrity

Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC)

 

About the IACUC

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The University of California, Riverside (UCR), recognizes the scientific and ethical responsibility for the humane care and use of animals involved in research and education and enjoins all individuals involved to the highest standards of care and consideration.

UCR has established an Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) to function as the review body responsible for approval and oversight of activities involving the use of vertebrate animals at UCR in accordance to federal requirements, including the Animal Welfare Act and PHS Policy. The Committee, which is appointed by the Vice Chancellor for Research and Economic Development, is qualified through the experience and expertise of its members to oversee the institution's animal program, facilities, and procedures in coordination with the UCR Office of the Campus Veterinarian. Additionally, the IACUC is committed to promoting open and cooperative relationships with investigators, and educating the UCR community concerning the ethical and regulatory standards for the humane care of animals.

Do I have to submit an Animal Use Protocol (AUP)?

An AUP is required for all research and teaching activities involving live vertebrate animals at UCR or sponsored by UCR. This includes:

  • All vertebrate animal activities (i.e., receiving, housing, maintaining, field studies, teaching uses, and lab experiments, including "gentling" treatments and non-invasive studies)
  • Vertebrate animal activities performed at other institutions under contract from UCR (e.g., contracting to have antibodies generated or new mouse strains developed; or when a UCR investigator is lead PI on a grant with subcontracts to other institutions).

Who May submit an AUP?

AUPs may only be submitted by individuals meeting PI eligibility as defined by UCR Policy #527-3. Exceptions may be made for academic coordinators planning to use vertebrate animals in teaching. Requests for an exception can be made by contacting iacuc@ucr.edu or by calling 951-827-4809 during normal business hours, 8:00am - 5:00pm.

How Do I submit?

You can find the forms here. Faculty may access forms and additional information at IACUC and AUP Information for UCR Faculty (e.g., animal use forms, related grant, housing, and inspection information). Completed AUPs can be emailed to iacuc@ucr.edu.

Things all animal users/handlers at UCR should know:

  1. All individuals must complete the training and occupational health requirements prior to handling live vertebrate animals in research and teaching.
  2. PIs are responsible for ensuring each lab member receives hands-on training for any procedure that lab member will be performing. Training may be performed by the PI, a designated and experienced lab member, an experienced colleague or as arranged with the Office of the Campus Veterinarian / vivaria staff. Lab members should not attempt procedures they have not received training for or do not yet feel confident in performing.

  3. AUPs and implementation by investigators must minimize potential pain and distress by:
    1. Ensuring lab members have been trained appropriately and are competent in the procedure and also familiar with how to determine if the animal is experiencing pain or distress.
    2. All lab members being familiar with and adhere to the approved AUP.
    3. All anesthesia, analgesia, monitoring and animal care being performed according to the AUP.
    4. Investigators giving extra consideration of animals and reference to the approved AUP for procedures that are likely to cause pain or distress.

  4. Collaborations involving treatment of animals under more than one AUP must be clearly described within an AUP.

  5. The IACUC must be aware of and have approved the sequence of all treatments a single animal will be exposed to.

  6. Euthanasia must be performed as approved in the AUP. Typically, methods listed as acceptable in the AVMA Guidelines for Euthanasia will be approved by the IACUC. Conditionally acceptable methods may be approved with appropriate scientific justification.

  7. Handle materials safely – PIs must ensure that lab members receive appropriate safety training (both the courses offered by EH&S and in-lab training for lab-specific procedures). Lab members should ensure they know the hazards associated with materials they use, ask questions of their PI and EH&S.

  8. PIs should be familiar with UCR IACUC policies and procedures.

  9. Animals housed in the UCR vivarium must be ordered through the Office of the Campus Veterinarian, unless otherwise authorized by the Campus Veterinarian.

  10. Any changes in research that would result in a different statement on the approved AUP must be approved by amendment before they are implemented.

(click for a printable copy of this list)

What are the levels of review?

IACUClevelsOfReview.png

Regardless of review level, all new AUPs may be subject to additional review by EH&S and the Office of the Campus Veterinarian (OCV) to review the lab space, training and to consult on any requirements for vivaria space. Additionally, protocols housing animals for more than 12 hours or conducting survival surgeries outside of the vivaria are subject to semi-annual inspections by the IACUC and OCV as mandated by federal regulations.

Individuals handling animals will also be subject to an Occupational Health Review (see below).

 

Additional compliance reviews that may be required:

  • Material Transfer Agreement (MTA): Some biohazardous materials (e.g., plasmids, vectors, viruses, human cell lines) cannot be obtained without a Material Transfer Agreement (MTA). The Research and Economic Development Office is required to review these contracts in accordance with UC mandated restrictions. It is recommended that you contact mta@ucr.edu as soon as you have determined you will be obtaining materials from an external source.

Timelines

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Note that many protocols and amendments may be reviewed and approved outside of convened meetings. However, the IACUC may choose to review any protocol or amendment at a convened meeting. In order to be placed on the agenda for a meeting, the item should be submitted by the first Monday of the month.

Review typically takes between 3 and 6 weeks (not including the time for investigator revision). The IACUC utilizes an initial pre-review whereby each protocol is reviewed by the IACUC Chair, Campus Veterinarian and IACUC analyst for completeness and compliance.

Submission Deadlines for Full Committee Review

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If necessary, the investigator is asked to revise the protocol. Once the Chair and veteriarian determine the protocol to be sufficient during their pre-review, the protocol is presented to the IACUC for review. Depending on the complexity and details of the animal procedures, some protocols must be reviewed at the monthly IACUC meeting. Other protocols can be reviewed by a subcommittee (designated member reviewers). Following the review, the IACUC, or the subcommittee if applicable, may request revisions prior to approving the protocol.

What training and occupational health reviews must be completed before ANYONE can handle vertebrate animals in research and teaching?

Federal regulations require that all individuals handling vertebrate animals receive proper training including, but not limited to, general animal use, federal law regarding animal use, species-specific handling and experiment-specific procedures, as well as training in the specific procedures necessary for their experiments. UCR uses an on-line training system for the general training and has species-specific videos available. The Office of the Campus Veterinarian is available to provide hands-on training in various procedures. Training in project-specific procedures is the responsibility of the AUP PI and must be documented.

The Animal Care and Use Training Program consists of the following:

  1. Review of the specific Animal Use Protocols (AUP) covering the activities to be performed (provided by the PI/faculty advisor).
  2. Completion of a UC Riverside AUP Personnel Add Form by the PI and trainee, submitted to iacuctraining@ucr.edu.
  3. Following submission of this form, access and directions will be provided for the following components of the training requirements:
  4. Occupational Health Review (see below).
  5. Completion of the UCR/AALAS on-line animal user training.
  6. Viewing of a species specific handling video.
  7. Acknowledgement of understanding rules and procedures.
Once the required training is complete and the Occupational Health Review is passed, the Office of Research Integrity will inform PI and lab member regarding clearance to use vertebrate animals.

Vivaria Access: Instructions for requesting vivaria access will be included with the clearance email.

Occupational Health Review

No one may enter the vivarium without the following:

  1. Clearance notification from the IACUC office and
  2. Completion of vivarium orientation with vivarium staff
This applies to all animal users (PI's, lab managers, graduate students, etc.).

Working with laboratory animals can present a risk to the health and well-being of research personnel in the forms of (a) zoonotic diseases (infectious agents shared by humans and animals); (b) allergies to laboratory animals, particularly rodents; and (c) bites, scratches and other injuries. All animal users are required to participate in the Occupational Health Program (see instructions under Required Training).

Recommendations for completing the Health Questionnaire used for the Occupational Health Review:

  • Complete all questions
  • If your tetanus vaccination is not up to date, you will be required to provide evidence of a booster before clearance to handle animals can be provided
  • Keep a copy of your completed form
  • Health forms may be submitted via email – be aware that you are providing personal medical information by a method without security. Hard copy may be delivered to the white box on the door to room 249 of the University Office Building

Related policies / guidance:

Obtaining Vivaria Space, Animal Health Issues, Vivaria Issues, Ordering Animals and Transferring Animals from Other Institutions


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Submission of forms does not imply automatic clearance. Clearance notification must be received from iacuctraining@ucr.edu, prior to entering the vivarium or commmentcing work with animals.

Contact Information

For assistance with protocols, amendments and animal use activities:
iacuc@ucr.edu
951-827-4809

For assistance with training requirement issues:
iacuctraining@ucr.edu
951-827-4809

Where can I find additional information?

 

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