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Animal Care and Use


IACUC Co-Chairs:

  • Dr. Erica Kennedy, Psychology, x4742 and
    Dr. Karen Keller, Biology, x4174

Administrative Contact: Office of Sponsored Programs, x7097


The Animal Welfare Act of 1966 (AWA) and its amendments require that all institutions provide humane care and treatment of vertebrate animals used in research and education. To comply with this federal law, all faculty, staff and students who plan to use live vertebrate animals in teaching or research activities must have prior approval from FSU's Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC). This includes the capture, handling, or other intrusive study of any vertebrate species, domestic or wild, in the field or in the laboratory.

Questions and answers regarding how to obtain approval are detailed below.


Who needs an approved Animal Use Protocol (AUP)?

All research or instructional use of live vertebrate animals by FSU faculty, staff, or students requires the approval of an Animal Use Protocol by the IACUC. The AUP must be fully approved before any animal user may acquire, house, or use animals.

 

When should I apply for an Animal Use Protocol?

An AUP should be submitted to the Office of Sponsored Programs at least 30 days before animal use occurs. More time is preferable in the event there are questions or concerns raised by the IACUC that need to be addressed by the applicant. The IACUC does not meet or review protocols during official school holidays or vacations, winter session (January), or during the summer. Therefore if you need an approved AUP you must plan in advance and submit your protocol form to the Committee during the active part of the school year.

 

How do I apply for an Animal Use Protocol?

A Protocol Form for Use of Vertebrate Animals in Research and Education must be submitted to obtain approval for animal research or educational activities involving animals. One protocol form must be submitted for each individual (different) project. Completed forms may be submitted electronically to the Office of Sponsored Programs, however a signed paper copy must also be submitted. No parts of the form should be deleted. If there are one or more questions on the form not applicable to your work please indicate so with "N/A" in the space provided. (Please feel free to add more lines under any of the questions if you need additional space.) If you have questions about the form please contact the IACUC Chair.

 

Who are the members of the IACUC?

The FSU IACUC, appointed by the President, oversees the use of vertebrate animals in field and laboratory activities conducted by FSU faculty, staff and students in accord with the Animal Welfare Act of 1966 and its amendments.This Committee consists of faculty from various colleges and departments at FSU, with varying backgrounds to promote complete and adequate review of research and teaching activities commonly conducted by the institution. They are appointed to the Committee because of their expertise in one or more areas. Federal regulations require that the Committee be comprised of at least two individuals total with at least one veterinarian, one nonaffiliated member, and one non-scientist. The Office of Sponsored Programs provides administrative support to the IACUC.

 

What is the approval process?

Every protocol submitted is assigned an AUP number and then forwarded to IACUC members, who have two calendar weeks to consider whether the protocol should be reviewed by the full, convened Committee. If a full Committee meeting is requested, it is scheduled for the first date the entire Committee is available to meet. If a full Committee review is not requested, the protocol may be approved after two Committee members approve it. Any comments and questions about the AUP from Committee members are communicated to the applicant by OSP so that any necessary revisions or clarifications may be made and an approval obtained. Once approved, the AUP is good for 3 years but must also undergo a less involved annual review (see next section below).

Topics that are considered by Committee members during review include: rationale and purpose of the proposed use of animals; justification of the species and number of animals requested; availability or appropriateness of the use of less-invasive procedures, other species; adequacy of training and experience of personnel in the procedures used; housing and husbandry requirements; appropriate sedation, analgesia, and anesthesia; unnecessary duplication of experiments; post-procedure care; method of euthanasia and/or disposition of animals.

 

Are there any reporting requirements after an Animal Use Protocol has been approved?

Yes. Federal regulations require that all animal use undergo continuing reviews of activities. Continuing reviews must be conducted at least annually. Therefore each year principal investigators must complete an Annual Review Form for every active AUP they have on file with the IACUC. The purpose of the annual review is to ensure that no changes have taken place inadvertently in the approved activity that might require further review. This form must be completed and submitted to the Office of the Provost at least 30 days prior to the annual expiration of an approved AUP. Thus, if an individual receives approval of their AUP on June 1, 2009, an "Annual Review Form" should be submitted by May 1, 20010 and again by May 1, 2011. If the project is to continue past June 1, 2012, a new "Protocol Form for Use of Vertebrate Animals in Research and Education" should be submitted by May 1, 2012. Completed forms may be submitted electronically to the OSP, however a signed paper copy must also be submitted. No parts of the form should be deleted. If there are one or more questions on the form not applicable to your work please indicate so with "N/A" in the space provided. (Please feel free to add more lines under any of the questions if you need additional space.) If you have questions about the form please contact the IACUC Chair.

 

How do I make changes to an approved Animal Use Protocol?

Once approved, AUPs can be changed with the IACUC's approval. This is achieved by submitting a request for an AUP amendment. Examples of amendments which might be requested include the addition of new personnel or departure of personnel from a project, changes in animal procedures currently being used such as anesthesia or surgical procedures.

If you require an amendment to your protocol, please forward a memorandum describing the changes requested to the OSP. In your memorandum, describe the exact nature of the changes requested and a justification for the changes. Be sure to include any associated information normally requested on the AUP form. For example, if you are requesting an increase in animal numbers, please provide a justification for the increase and a justification for the number of animals requested. If you are adding personnel to a project, please describe their training and experience with the procedures they will perform. Significant changes in procedures or experimental objectives will result in the need for you to complete a new AUP. Amendment request memoranda should be mailed to the IACUC Chair.

 

What do I do if I need to end my project earlier than anticipated or when it is officially completed?

If you want to terminate a project early or if a project is completed you should submit a Notice of Project Termination Form to the OSP within 30 days of termination or completion. Completed forms may be submitted electronically to the OSP, however a signed paper copy must also be submitted. If you have questions about the form please contact the IACUC Chair.