Office of
Research Services

The Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC)

The use of live vertebrate animals in research and educational programs in the United States must be in accordance with the Public Health Service's Policy on Humane Care and Use of Laboratory Animals, the Amended Animal Welfare Act of 1985, and the regulations of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).

To comply with these policies and regulations, every research institution in the United States that conducts animal research must have an Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC). This committee has to be appointed and has to be representative of the entire institution.

The University of Missouri at Kansas City must remain in compliance with the policies and regulations governing the use of live vertebrate animals in research and educational programs. The UMKC IACUC is the agent responsible for ensuring this compliance.

The IACUC has the authority and is required to comply with the National Research Council's Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals. UMKC is accredited by the Association for Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care.

UMKC 2023 AAALAC Accreditation

As an independent entity, the IACUC is charged with the following responsibilities:

  • Review and approval of research and teaching protocols involving the use of live vertebrate animals.
  • Review and approval of the institutional program for the care and welfare of live vertebrate animals used in research and educational programs.
  • Inspection and evaluation of the facilities in which animals are housed and maintained.

All faculty who conduct research or educational programs using live vertebrate animals are required to submit an Animal Protocol to the IACUC for evaluation and approval. The information requested in the Animal Protocol is dictated by governing federal, state, local and institutional policies and regulations. The requested information is essential in order for the IACUC to evaluate a proposal, determine whether the proposed use and care of live vertebrate animals is in compliance with existing policies and regulations, and determine whether the proposal should be approved by the Committee. An approved Animal Protocol is required before any research or educational project using live vertebrate animals commences.

New OLAW webinar available:

COVID-19 Pandemic Response Resources and FAQs for Animal Care and Use Programs

On April 8, 2020, OLAW prerecorded a webinar titled “COVID-19 Pandemic Response Resources and FAQs for Animal Care and Use Programs” featuring Drs. Patricia Brown (OLAW) and Robert Gibbens (USDA).

2020 Updates:

The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) has issued and posted an update to the 2013 Guidelines for the Euthanasia of Animals, the AVMA Guidelines for the Euthanasia of Animals: 2020 Edition (PDF).

IACUC Responsibilities

By federal law, the IACUC, as an agent of the research facility, must:

  • review the components of the animal care and use program every six months
  • inspect the animal facilities and animal study areas every six months
  • prepare and submit federal reports
  • review and investigate concerns involving animal care and use
  • make recommendations to the Institutional Official regarding any aspect of UMKC’s Animal Care and Use Program, the research facilities or personnel training
  • review and approve vertebrate animal research, teaching or testing activities before they are initiated
  • review and approve modifications to previously approved animal care and use projects
  • investigate and suspend animal use in accordance with federal regulations

By federal policy, the IACUC must comprise at least five members and should include the following:

  • a doctor of veterinary medicine
  • a practicing scientist experienced in research involving animals
  • an individual not affiliated with the university, representing the community