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 the following policies, even by one researcher, or one animal care staffer, is a mark of noncompliance for the entire university.
Policies are created under the authority of one of three entities: the Institutional Official, the Attending Veterinarian, and the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee ( IACUC). Suffixes at the end of the policy numbers indicate the responsible authority - " IO" for Institutional Official, "V" for Attending Veterinarian, and "C" for universal Animal Care and Use Committee policies.
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 ACUC. 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 ACUC 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 ACUC investigates the alleged violation. Every case is unique - for details see Policy 1999-008-io, Noncompliance.
- If the committee determines a violation occurred, the ACUC 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 ACUC, post-approval audits, or other steps.
- In cases of very serious violations, the ACUC may revoke the animal-use privileges and facility access, or formally suspend the protocol.
The ACUC 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.