IACUC Office Staff:
The U.S. Department of Agriculture Animal Care division and the National Institutes of Health Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare view UW-Madison and all members of its animal program community as a single research institution. Violation of policies, even by one researcher, or one animal care staffer, is a mark of non-compliance for the entire university.
Most Animal Program policies are at the UW-Madison Policy Library with the prefix "Animal Program." Specific committee policies are below.
Animal User Requirements (AURs) are established under the authority of the Attending Veterinarian. All PIs, regardless of school or college, are expected to abide by these requirements.
UW-Madison commits to humane and ethical animal care standards to ensure high quality science and preservation of public trust. Disregarding veterinary directives, not following animal facility rules and practices, not abiding by an approved animal-use protocol, and ignoring policies are all violations of these standards.
An approved animal use protocol is a contract between the PI and the IACUC. Researchers cannot modify procedures or tests performed on animals, substances administered to animals, or the species or number of animals to be used without review and approval. Changes without approvals are protocol violations.
Consequences for protocol violations are significant. Institutions may be required to return NIH grant money used to support unapproved animal experiments. Data collected without IACUC approval cannot be used in grant applications. Journals may refuse to publish manuscripts that use it. In addition, protocol violations may jeopardize future funding for investigators, departments, schools and colleges. For protocols involving USDA-covered species, violations can result in citations, fines, and further investigation by federal authorities.
When a Violation is Alleged
- The IACUC investigates the alleged violation. Every case is unique. For details see policy UW-4113, Protocol Non-compliance.
- If the committee determines a violation occurred, the IACUC will impose a correction plan to address the violation and prevent recurrence. These plans may include requiring training or retraining of research staff, amending protocols, requiring a veterinarian be present during surgeries or procedures, regular reporting from the lab to the IACUC, post-approval audits, or other steps.
- In cases of very serious violations, the IACUC may revoke the animal-use privileges and facility access, or formally suspend the protocol.
The IACUC will communicate to the PI the requirements for reinstating privileges, and will determine when such conditions have been met.
- Depending on the nature of the issue, the USDA, NIH, granting agencies, accrediting organizations, and the investigator's department chair may be informed of protocol violations and suspensions.