The use of live vertebrate animals in research and educational programs in the United States must be in accordance with the Public Health Service (PHS) policy on Humane Care and Use of Laboratory Animals, the Amended Animal Welfare Act of 1985, and the regulations of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).
To comply with these policies and regulations, every research institution in the United States must have an Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC). This committee has to be appointed by the chief executive officer of the institution and has to be representative of the entire institution. The committee must have a non-scientist member as well as a representative from the community who has no association with the University.
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill must remain in compliance with the policies and regulations governing the use of live vertebrate animals in research and educational programs. The UNC Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) is the agent responsible for insuring this compliance. The IACUC reports to the Institutional Official. The Institutional Official at UNC-Chapel Hill is Terry Magnuson, Vice Chancellor for Research.
As an independent entity reporting to the Vice Chancellor for Research, the IACUC is charged with the following responsibilities:
- Review and approval of research and teaching protocols involving the use of live vertebrate animals.
- Review and approval of the institutional program for the care and welfare of live vertebrate animals used in research and educational programs.
- The inspection and evaluation of the facilities in which animals are housed and maintained.
The review of the “Application to Use Live Vertebrate Animals in Research or Educational Programs” is one of the methods the IACUC uses to oversee the use of animals by university personnel. All faculty who conduct research or educational programs using live vertebrate animals are required to submit a completed application on the designated form to the IACUC for evaluation and approval. The information requested in the application is dictated by governing federal, state, local and institutional policies and regulations. The requested information is essential in order for the IACUC to be able to evaluate a proposal, to determine whether the proposed use and care of live vertebrate animals is in compliance with existing policies and regulations, and to determine whether the proposal should be approved by the Committee. An approved application is required before any research or educational project using live vertebrate animals commences.
The principal investigator is responsible for the information he/she submits in an application. The principal investigator should carefully read the form to be certain that it is complete and accurate before it is signed and submitted. The response to each item in the form should be complete and understandable. Every item on the application should be completed and the application should not contain numerous typographical errors, misspelled words, and missing words or phrases.