Animal Subjects / IACUC

The University of Massachusetts Amherst supports the use of animals for research as an ethical and scientific necessity for the advancement of human and animal well-being, and knowledge and understanding of living systems.

The UMass Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) is charged with overseeing the use of vertebrate animals in teaching and research. The IACUC reviews proposed projects using live vertebrate animals, inspects animal care facilities and study areas, submits reports to the Institutional Official (Vice Chancellor for Research and Engagement), and investigates concerns. IACUC activities are guided by the U.S. Animal Welfare Act and U.S. Public Health Service Policy.

All projects involving use of live vertebrate animals for research, teaching, training, wildlife studies, experimentation, agricultural studies, biological testing, preparation of custom antibodies, and related purposes MUST have IACUC approval regardless of funding source or lack of funding, before the project starts. This applies to all work that is conducted by UMass employees, UMass students, or anyone with an affiliation with the University; and/or involves use of animals housed in a University facility; and/or is funded through an award to, or processed through, the University.

An animal protocol is a contractual agreement between the Principal Investigator (PI) and the IACUC. A protocol can be approved by the IACUC for a maximum of three years. It is a PI’s responsibility to ensure animal use described in a funded proposal is covered by an approved animal use protocol and continues to be covered for the duration of the award. There is no limit to the number of grants that can be listed on a protocol.

UMass Amherst is registered as a research facility (#14-R-0036) with the United States Department of Agriculture and has an approved Animal Welfare Assurance (#A3551-01) on file with the NIH Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare (OLAW).

A current IACUC approval is required before animals can be purchased or housed. Please note that IACUC approval for proposed animal use is not a guarantee that space for the animals in a UMass animal care facility is always immediately available. Contact Animal Care Services to make the necessary arrangements.

Concerns and complaints regarding animal care and use at UMass Amherst can be submitted through the IACUC office preferably submitted in writing, and signed by the person filing the complaint.  Anonymously-reported concerns and complaints are also investigated.  Persons filing a complaint are protected from reprisals by MA “Whistle-blower” statues.