The primary function of the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) is to ensure that all state and federal regulations regarding the humane care and use of animals in research and teaching are strictly followed at the University of Colorado Boulder. This unit ensures that vertebrate animals are treated in a humane manner and that animal care personnel are protected from possible harm when working with animals. If infractions are found, the IACUC is empowered to shut down all animal research conducted in the laboratory.
The IACUC at the University of Colorado Boulder is made up of 20 members including the Institutional Veterinarian, faculty, staff, and several members unaffiliated with the University. Here are our responsibilities to ensure that animal welfare is considered carefully in every case, and quality research is allowed to take place:
- Several members of the IACUC provide regular, mandatory training sessions for any individual who uses vertebrate animals in teaching or research. Training covers federal guidelines on the proper care and use of laboratory animals, resources that serve as our guide for ensuring proper care and use at the University, proper laboratory animal techniques, important information related to occupational health, zoonoses, and laboratory animal allergies.
- The IACUC meets monthly to discuss issues involving animal care and use, review research and teach proposals that want to utilize vertebrate animals, and receive updates from the Institutional Veterinarian.
- The IACUC inspects all animal facilities (where they are either housed or used for research/teaching) twice a year to ensure that vertebrate animals are healthy, properly cared for, and maintained in a clean and well-ventilated environment. The results of this bi-annual inspection are sent to the the Associate Vice Chancellor for Research at the University who forwards the statement to federal authorities. Again, if a laboratory fails to comply, the IACUC is empowered to shut down the research or teaching effort until compliance is achieved. Research and teaching laboratories are also independently inspected by USDA and Public Health Services staff.
Important Note: Since a primary function of the IACUC is to ensure the humane treatment of animals, any suspected mistreatment should be reported immediately to either the University veterinarian or the Chair of the IACUC (see our Contact Us). All reports will be held in strict confidence and addressed immediately. The outcome of the inquiry will be reported back to the individual promptly.