What we do
Animal research at MU is overseen by three distinct groups: The Office of Animal Resources (OAR), the Animal Care and Use Committee (ACUC) and the Animal Care and Quality Assurance office (ACQA). Each has a specific role to ensure MU’s animal research is conducted safely and humanely.
Office of Animal Resources (OAR)
We provide veterinary care for MU-owned animals and maintain campus animal facilities. Our mission is to deliver the highest standard of husbandry, well-being and health care for all MU animals.
- Provided 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year to all animals on campus under the oversight of the attending veterinarian
- Delivered by five full-time veterinarians, one part-time veterinarian, one veterinary technician and nine to 12 comparative medicine residents/post-doctoral veterinarians
Staff observe all animals daily. Concerns are reported directly to the OAR veterinary team.
Husbandry and facilities management
- OAR maintains multiple animal housing and support areas for common laboratory species as well as unique animal models.
- Housing systems and biosecurity levels are available for diverse research projects and animal health statuses.
- Experienced facility supervisors manage day-to-day operations and approximately 50 staff who provide exceptional animal care seven days a week, 365 days a year.
- OAR is required to recover costs associated with the procurement, care and support of research animals.
- Investigators are billed on a monthly basis.
- The MoCode provided on the original animal order form will be charged.
- Researchers can log in to see per diem rates and more information.
Technical services, investigator support and training
Experienced OAR staff support MU research programs by providing a variety of services to investigators, including:
- Technical assistance with all aspects of animal studies, from sample collection to performing entire experiments.
- Animal transportation on campus and colony management.
- Expertise from veterinarians about animal model selection, ACUC protocol/refinement and study planning.
These services are offered as cost-recovery fees using an hourly rate plus cost of materials, if applicable.
We also offer training on animal use and technical procedures. Consultation and most preliminary training are provided at no charge.
Animal ordering and quarantine
All animal orders for investigators housing research animals in OAR-managed facilities must go through the OAR office.
The OAR Office Support Assistant will process and place orders for all animals coming from approved vendors. An approved, active ACUC protocol must be in place for investigators to order animals. Animals from approved vendors may join an investigator’s existing colony upon receipt.
Animals from non-approved vendors will be evaluated based on source and health status and, if approved for receipt at MU, required to go through quarantine period prior to joining an investigator’s existing colony. A request for quarantine space needs to be submitted to the OAR Office Support Assistant who will process the order. The OAR veterinary staff will then review the health history of the animals and approve any incoming shipments. For more details on the rodent quarantine process please see the OAR SOP Rodent Quarantine.
OAR will assist with the process of shipping rodents to outside institutions. Researchers can log in to learn more.
As a service to MU investigators, drugs (both controlled and non-controlled) and various medical supplies may be ordered through OAR. Researchers can log in to learn more.
Animal Care and Use Committee (ACUC)
The ACUC ensures that all MU animal facilities are maintained and all personnel are trained properly. The committee includes scientists, veterinarians, nonscientists and community members who are responsible for reviewing and approving the use of all vertebrate animals in research and teaching.
MU is required to have an ACUC as a registered institution of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and an assured institution of the Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare (OLAW).
Animal research is regulated by two U.S. government entities:
- The USDA enforces the Animal Welfare Act. The university's USDA registration number is 43-R-0048.
- OLAW is part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). To receive NIH funding, MU is required to assure with OLAW that we follow the Public Health Service Policy on Humane Care and Use of Laboratory Animals. Our OLAW assurance number is D16-00249. Standards and requirements are outlined in the:
ACUC function and authority
- We review and approve vertebrate animal research and teaching activities (or changes to those activities). Before beginning studies involving animals, researchers must submit a description to the ACUC for review and approval.
- At least once every six months, we review the research facility's program for humane care and use of animals.
- At least every six months, we inspect all of MU’s animal facilities, including animal study areas.
- We prepare evaluation reports and submit them to the research facility’s institutional official.
- The committee reviews and investigates concerns involving the care and use of animals. These concerns can be the result of public complaints or from reports of noncompliance received from laboratory or research facility employees.
- We make recommendations to the institutional official regarding any aspect of the research facility's animal program, facilities or personnel training.
- The ACUC is authorized to suspend an activity involving animals.
Animal Care Quality Assurance (ACQA) office
Our office provides support for the ACUC and animal researchers. We assure that animal research and teaching are performed humanely, and all laws, rules and guidelines are followed.
We also ensure that animal researchers and their laboratory personnel are properly trained to perform animal research and are aware of the occupational health and safety risks associated with using animals in research and teaching.
We investigate concerns regarding the care and treatment of animals used in research or teaching at MU.
To report a concern, please contact one of the following:
- ACQA office: 573-882-1746 or firstname.lastname@example.org
- ACQA director: 573-882-3681
- OAR Attending Veterinarian: 573-882-0638
- Other ACUC members
For anonymous concerns, call 866-447-9821
Notification of ACUC’s findings will not be given for anonymous reports.
Reports are kept confidential upon request.
Animal Welfare Act regulations prohibit discrimination or reprisal against any person for reporting violations of any regulation or standard under the act.
Grants and contracts information
Information frequently requested by funding agencies:
- Animal Welfare/PHS Assurance No. D16-00249
- USDA Registration No. 43R0048
- AAALAC Unit No. 487
- Most recent AAALAC site visit date: 3/8/21
- Most recent AAALAC accreditation date: 6/23/21
- Initial AAALAC accreditation date: 5/23/79