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Working with the IACUC

This course provides basic training on the protection of animal subjects used in research.

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About this Course


Working with the IACUC is intended for laboratory research personnel who will write animal-use protocols for review by an Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) member or who will handle animals under such protocols. It provides basic information regarding the U.S. regulations for protection of animal subjects used in research, teaching, and testing. It also describes the sources and applicability of regulations governing animals in these uses.

In addition, it discusses the role, authority, and composition of the IACUC, the types of IACUC review, and the items of information required for the review. It discusses animal surgery, blood sample collection, antibody production, and euthanasia.

General discussions are also provided for requirements for personnel training and experience, and occupational health and safety.  It provides recommendations for housing rodents, exercising dogs, enriching the environment of primates, and using human patient care areas for animal procedures. Finally, there is a discussion of the requirements for making changes in a project involving animals and the procedures for reporting inappropriate use of animals.

Language Availability: English

Suggested Audiences: IACUC Members, Animal Workers and Staff, Investigators, Research Assistants, Students


Course Content


Toggle Content Introduction to Working with the IACUC

Introduces the Working with the IACUC course, and provides an overview of what the course seeks to achieve.

Recommended Use: Required
ID (Language): 1807 (English)

Toggle Content Working with the IACUC

Discusses the elements of working with an IACUC including useful contacts for help in planning animal experiments, and it presents the various roles and functions of the IACUC.

Recommended Use: Required
ID (Language): 1808 (English)

Toggle Content Federal Mandates

Covers the basic laws, guidelines, regulatory documents, and federal agencies that govern animal research in the United States.

Recommended Use: Required
ID (Language): 1809 (English)

Toggle Content The Veterinary Consultation

Discusses the mandate for consulting with a laboratory animal veterinarian during the planning stages of any project that will involve more than momentary or slight pain and/or distress to animals.

Recommended Use: Required
ID (Language): 1810 (English)

Toggle Content Getting Started

Outlines the steps for completing and justifying your answers to important items contained within a typical animal protocol form.

Recommended Use: Required
ID (Language): 1811 (English)

Toggle Content Alternatives

Discusses the concept of the "Three R's," the legal mandate for considering alternatives, and the databases that can be used to search for alternatives.

Recommended Use: Required
ID (Language): 1812 (English)

Toggle Content Avoiding Unnecessary Duplication

Covers the regulatory mandate that prohibits the unnecessary duplication of previous animal studies, and how to comply with the mandate.

Recommended Use: Required
ID (Language): 1813 (English)

Toggle Content USDA Pain/Distress Categories

Identifies how to correctly classify experimental procedures on laboratory animals into one of the four United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) pain/distress categories.

Recommended Use: Required
ID (Language): 1814 (English)

Toggle Content Endpoint Criteria

Describes the need for endpoint criteria and presents common examples.

Recommended Use: Required
ID (Language): 1815 (English)

Toggle Content Surgery

Discusses survival, non-survival, major, minor, and multiple major survival surgeries. It also presents the need to document postoperative care, and it covers the concept of fasting animals prior to surgery.

Recommended Use: Required
ID (Language): 1816 (English)

Toggle Content Antibody Production

Discusses the production, in animals, of monoclonal and polyclonal antibodies that is critical for modern biomedical research.

Recommended Use: Supplemental
ID (Language): 1817 (English)

Toggle Content Collecting Blood Samples

Presents guidelines for blood collection in all animals including some special information on collecting blood from rodents.

Recommended Use: Required
ID (Language): 1818 (English)

Toggle Content Personnel Training and Experience

Covers the importance of training for personnel involved in animal research, and the need for the IACUC to ensure personnel are qualified to perform the procedures proposed in the animal protocol forms.

Recommended Use: Required
ID (Language): 1819 (English)

Toggle Content Occupational Health and Safety

Discusses the requirement that organizations doing research involving animals have to establish an Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) program and lists some of the typical services such a program may offer.

Recommended Use: Required
ID (Language): 1820 (English)

Toggle Content Using Hazardous and Toxic Agents in Animals

Introduces the guidelines to follow when performing work on animals involving toxic or infectious agents, the four biosafety levels and their corresponding animal biosafety levels, corresponding safety levels for working with recombinant DNA, and working with "select agents" with biological warfare potential.

Recommended Use: Required
ID (Language): 1821 (English)

Toggle Content Housing Social Animals

Describes the need to house social animals in pairs or groups whenever possible and possible justifications for using single housing instead.

Recommended Use: Required
ID (Language): 1822 (English)

Toggle Content Housing Rodents on Wire Floors

Discusses the advantages of housing rodents in solid bottom cages with contact bedding rather than on cages with wire bottoms.

Recommended Use: Required
ID (Language): 1823 (English)

Toggle Content Dog Exercise

Covers the requirement that organizations establish a program of exercise for dogs used in research, teaching and testing. CITI Program recommends this module as required, if applicable to your program.

Recommended Use: Supplemental
ID (Language): 1824 (English)

Toggle Content Primate Psychological Enrichment

Discusses the requirement that organizations establish a program of psychological enrichment for primates used in research, teaching or testing. CITI Program recommends this module as required, if applicable to your program.

Recommended Use: Supplemental
ID (Language): 1825 (English)

Toggle Content Prolonged Restraint

Covers the guidelines for prolonged restraint of animals.

Recommended Use: Required
ID (Language): 1826 (English)

Toggle Content Euthanasia

Describes the various methods of euthanasia for animals.

Recommended Use: Required
ID (Language): 1827 (English)

Toggle Content Using Human Patient Care Areas for Animal Research

Discusses cleanliness issues and observations by people when research animals are taken into human clinical areas.

Recommended Use: Supplemental
ID (Language): 1828 (English)

Toggle Content Using Explosive Agents in the Animal Facility

Covers the use of explosive agents, such as ether, to anesthetize or euthanize animals in the animal facility.

Recommended Use: Supplemental
ID (Language): 1829 (English)

Toggle Content Making Changes After You Receive Approval

Discusses the requirement for obtaining IACUC approval prior to making significant changes to animal procedures.

Recommended Use: Required
ID (Language): 1830 (English)

Toggle Content Reporting Misuse, Mistreatment, or Non-Compliance

Describes the procedures for reporting misuse or mistreatment of animals and other non-compliance with federal regulations or guidelines.

Recommended Use: Required
ID (Language): 1831 (English)

Toggle Content Final Comments

Serves as a conclusion to the Working with the IACUC course.

Recommended Use: Required
ID (Language): 1832 (English)


Additional Modules of Interest


Toggle Content Aseptic Surgery

Discusses the principles of aseptic technique with an emphasis on the practical application of these principles in the laboratory setting.

Recommended Use: Supplemental
ID (Language): 12840 (English)

Toggle Content Antibody Production in Animals

Describes the use of antigens and adjuvants, for the production of polyclonal antibodies, and their ability to produce pain and distress. It also discusses the procedures for immunization, as well as the production of monoclonal antibodies and the use of ascites collection.

Recommended Use: Supplemental
ID (Language): 13325 (English)