Animal Care Quality Assurance

MU's Animal Care and Use Committee

Institutions that are registered with the USDA and/or have an assurance with OLAW are required to have an Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC). Both the Animal Welfare Act and the Public Health Service (PHS) Policy have specific requirements for the composition of an IACUC. See table below. MU exceeds the legal requirements of both the Animal Welfare Act and the PHS Policy.


IACUC composition requirements and the MU committee
(number in parentheses includes alternates)
  Animal Welfare Act PHS Policy MU ACUC
Chair 1 0 1
Practicing Scientist 0 1 8
Non-Scientist 0 1 1
Non-affiliated member 1 1 2
Veterinarian 1 1 1 (4)
Member-at-large 0 0 2 (4)
Total members 3 5 15 (20)


IACUC functions and authority:

  1. Review and approve vertebrate animal research and teaching activities or changes to those activities. Prior to starting a research project involving animals, researchers have to submit a description of the research to the ACUC for review and approval. This approval must be in place before the work can commence.
  2. Review, at least once every six months, the research facility's program for humane care and use of animals.
  3. Inspect, at least once every six months, all of the research facility's animal facilities, including animal study areas.
  4. Prepare reports of its evaluations and submit the reports to the Institutional Official of the research facility.
  5. Review, and, if warranted, investigate concerns involving the care and use of animals at the research facility resulting from public complaints received and from reports of noncompliance received from laboratory or research facility personnel or employees.
  6. Make recommendations to the Institutional Official regarding any aspect of the research facility's animal program, facilities, or personnel training.
  7. Be authorized to suspend an activity involving animals.