Office of Research IACUC Charge - Office of Research

IACUC Charge

I. Policy

The UC Davis Policy on the Care and Use of Animals in Teaching and Research requires that University practices for the procurement, housing, and care and use of animals must conform to: 1) the ILAR Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals; 2) the Guide for the Care and Use of Agricultural Animals in Research and Teaching; 3) all regulations of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) issued by the USDA implementing the Animal Welfare Act (AWA) and its amendments  (9 CFR, Chapter 3); and 4) the Public Health Service’s Policy on Humane Care and Use of Laboratory Animals. In addition, University policy requires that all facilities in which animals are housed, and the programs associated with those facilities, must be accredited by the Association for Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care (AAALAC), International.

The campus is also obligated to file an Animal Welfare Assurance with the Public Health Service (PHS). This assurance requires review of the animal care and use sections of PHS funded proposals.

The Chancellor has delegated the responsibilities and authority of the Institutional Official (I.O.) to the Vice Chancellor of Research. The I.O. is charged with establishment of an Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) to assure complete and adequate review of animal facilities, laboratory/study areas, procedures, and animal care and use protocols. This authority is mandatory under the Health Research Extension Act (HREA) and the AWA.

II. Responsibilities

The role of the IACUC is to oversee and routinely evaluate the Animal Care and Use Program. The UC Davis IACUC has the following responsibilities:

A.  Review, at least once every six months, the University’s programs for the humane care and use of animals.

B.  Inspect, at least once every six months, the institution’s animal facilities, including satellite facilities, study areas (areas in which animals are housed for more than 12 hours) and laboratories where surgery is conducted.  Other animal use areas will be inspected on a regular basis.

C.  Prepare reports of the IACUC program review and inspections, and submit these reports to the I.O. The IACUC staff shall prepare the reports for IACUC review and approval. The reports must contain a description of the nature and extent of adherence to the regulations, policies, and standards described in section I, above. Any departure from these provisions must be specifically identified and the reasons for each departure must be stated. All identified Program and facility deficiencies must be noted as either minor or significant and a corrective action plan established and described in the report identified.

D.  Review, and if warranted, investigate concerns involving the care and use of animals.

E.  Advise the I.O. about the animal care program, including: (1) compliance with applicable State, Federal, University, and campus regulations related to the care and use of live, vertebrate animals; (2) design and maintenance of animal facilities; and (3) personnel training as it relates to animal care and use.

F.  Advise the I.O. on matters related to animal care and use protocols, including suspensions of any research or teaching activities.

G.  Review and approve, require modifications in (to secure approval), or withhold approval of animal care and use protocols.

H.   Review and approve, require modification in, or withhold approval of proposed significant changes regarding the care and use of animals in ongoing activities.

I.   When warranted, suspend an activity involving animals as described in IACUC-11 “Protocol Suspension”.

J.  Functions as described in the UC Davis Animal Welfare Assurance to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) when reviewing protocols and amendments.  In fulfilling this responsibility, the IACUC must consider for each animal care and use protocol and amendment:

  1. Proposed activities are in compliance with State and Federal laws and University policies.
  2. Activity is consistent with the ILAR Guide, unless an acceptable justification for a departure is presented and approved.
  3. Proposed activities involving the care and use of animals contain the following: a) identification of the species and the number of animals to be used; and b) rationale for the use of animals and the appropriateness of the species selected and numbers of animals to be used.
  4. Discomfort, distress, and pain to the animals will be avoided or minimized consistent with sound research design and practice.
  5. Procedures causing more than momentary or slight pain or distress to the animals will be performed with appropriate sedation, analgesia, or anesthesia, unless otherwise justified in writing for scientific reasons by the investigator and approved by the IACUC.
  6. Animals which may experience severe or chronic pain or distress which cannot be alleviated will be euthanized at the end of the procedure or, if appropriate, during the procedure.
  7. Living conditions for the animals will be appropriate for the species and contribute to health and comfort, and that the housing, feeding, and non-medical care of the animals will be directed by a veterinarian or other scientist trained and experienced in the proper care, handling, and use of the species being maintained or studied.
  8. Medical care for animals will be available and provided as necessary by a qualified veterinarian.
  9. Personnel conducting procedures on the species being maintained or studied will be appropriately qualified and trained in those procedures and the species. These same personnel must participate in the UC Davis Occupational Health Program.
  10. Methods of euthanasia used are consistent with the recommendations of the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA Guidelines for the Euthanasia of Animals), unless a deviation is justified for scientific reasons in writing by the investigator and approved by the IACUC.

K. Review ongoing research and teaching protocols as frequently as necessary, but at least annually, with a complete review required at least every three years in accordance with IACUC-07 “Animal Care and Use Protocol/Amendment Review and Renewal Process”.

L. The I.O. may assign other responsibilities to the IACUC.

III. Composition

The composition of the UC Davis IACUC will be in accordance with PHS Policy (IV,A,3,b) which states that an IACUC must consist of not less than five members and must include the Attending Veterinarian, one practicing scientist experienced in research involving animals, one member whose primary concerns are in a nonscientific area, and one individual who is not affiliated with the institution in any way other than as a member of the IACUC, and who is also not a member of the immediate family of a person who is affiliated with the institution. This latter individual is meant to represent the general community interests in the use and treatment of animals, and cannot be a laboratory animal user at a research facility.

Given the broad scope of teaching and research at UC Davis, additional members from the campus community representing the Schools of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine; Colleges of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, Biological Sciences, Engineering, and Letters and Sciences; and Office of Research will be included. The composition of the IACUC must always meet the PHS requirements stated above.

A.  Membership

Members of the IACUC are appointed annually by the I.O., generally for a minimum of 2-year terms, except as indicated below.  Not more than 3 members from the same administrative unit can serve at the same time.

  1. Chairperson
    • Appointment: The Chairperson will generally serve a term of 2 years, but may serve a term of 1 year if approved by the I.O. The Chairperson’s appointment is renewable by the I.O.
    • Qualifications:
      • Tenured faculty member.
      • Knowledgeable and effective leader.
      • Has been a member of the IACUC for at least two years and has served on the IACUC during an AAALAC site visit.
    • Responsibilities:
      • Member of the Leadership Team, aids in ensuring compliance with all applicable regulations and standards, and assists in maintaining the University’s AAALAC accreditation.
      • Recommends membership changes to the I.O.
      • Makes recommendations to the I.O. for the vice-chairperson position.
      • Convenes/chairs meetings; designates acting chair if both the chairperson and vice-chairperson are unable to attend meetings.
      • Acts as spokesperson on behalf of the IACUC.
  2. Vice-Chair
    • Appointment: The vice chair will be appointed by the I.O.
    • Qualifications:
      • A tenured faculty member who has served on the IACUC for at least two years.
      • The Vice-Chair appointment does not imply that the incumbent will become the next chair.
    • Responsibilities:
      • To represent the IACUC in the absence of the IACUC chairperson with respect to the following functions:
        • Serve as chairperson at convened IACUC meetings.
        • Attend administrative meetings upon request.
        • Act as chair when the chair has a conflict of interest (for protocols/amendments that are submitted by the chair, either during a convened meeting or designated review request).
  3. Members
    • Terms:
      • The initial term for faculty members and staff members representing specific campus units is a 2 years commitment. Faculty and staff members may be reappointed by the I.O.
      • New members will be included in the quorum once they have been appointed by the I.O. and have completed the required training (see IACUC-01).
    • Qualifications:
      • Scientific members must have a faculty appointment with the University.
      • Public Member must not be affiliated with the institution in any way other than as a member of the IACUC, and who is also not a member of the immediate family of a person who is affiliated with the institution.
    • Requirements:
      • IACUC members must ensure confidentiality at all times and avoid discussion of topics addressed during meetings and related communications beyond the IACUC membership.
      • IACUC members are expected to maintain professionalism at all times and participate in respectful discussion regarding research contained in submitted IACUC protocols.
  4. Alternate Members: Alternate members will be appointed to the IACUC by the I.O. in accordance with PHS policy. An IACUC member and his/her alternate may not count toward a quorum at the same time or act in an official member capacity at the same time.
  5. Ad Hoc: Non-voting attendees may be invited as needed. Examples of such attendees include, but are not limited to, representative(s) from Campus Operations and Maintenance, I.O. or designee, and Past Chairperson (if no longer a member).
  6. Consultants: The IACUC can invite internal or external consultants to assist the IACUC in its duties. Such consultants cannot vote, but can provide their professional opinion.

Member Participation in IACUC Inspections:

All IACUC members are expected to participate in the required IACUC inspections at least twice annually and/or Chair IACUC subcommittees as needed.

Meeting Attendance Requirements:

All IACUC members are expected to participate in the required IACUC inspections at least twice annually and/or Chair IACUC subcommittees as needed.

The IACUC Office will maintain IACUC member attendance records based on the calendar year (see IACUC-14: “IACUC Meeting Minutes”).

Member expectations include the following:

  1. Attend at least 75% of the regularly scheduled meetings. For members with Alternates, 75% is required between the two members.
  2. Notify the IACUC Office ([email protected]) if attendance at a meeting is not possible or if unavailable for designated member review assignments.
  3. Members who are on sabbatical or other long term leave (greater than 3 months) will be temporarily removed from the IACUC and re-instated upon return.

Member Training

All members must meet the “new member orientation/training” requirements in IACUC-01: “IACUC Membership Training Program”. This includes alternate IACUC members


  1. Animal Welfare Act
  2. Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals
  3. PHS Policy

Procedure: IACUC-05
Date:  12/07/2017
Enabled by AWA, PHS
Supersedes: 04/07/2016