Animal Use Subject to IACUC Review

The UMass Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) reviews all classroom and research projects, whether sponsored or unsponsored, involving the use of living non-human vertebrate animals, or animals killed for the purposes of the study, to ensure the humane care and use of animals including, but not limited to, the following:

  • Classroom exercises and demonstrations that use animals for a short period or animals visiting campus should use the following form.
  • Research projects including student projects.
  • University-approved research by investigators not affiliated with the university who propose to involve university personnel and/or funding channeled though UMass Amherst for a proposed research project

Projects involving dead animals killed for purposes other than the study should be reported to the IACUC but do not need a protocol

Categories of Animal Use

Field Studies
Use of Animals at Other Institutions
Use of Animals at Foreign Institutions
Off-Campus Internships and Employment that Involve the Use of Live Animals
Custom Antibody Production by an Off-campus Facility

Field Studies

Before a field study can start, the PI must follow all the same PHS guidelines as laboratory studies. 

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Use of Animals at Other Institutions

If biomedical animal research activities involving UMass personnel are conducted at domestic or foreign sites other than UMass Amherst and its satellite facilities, the IACUC must review that PHS policies are being followed. The IACUC, at its discretion, may:

  • Accept the other institution's IACUC approval, especially if the performance institution holds a current Assurance with OLAW or is AAALAC certified.
  • Conduct its own review of the protocol from the other institution.
  • Conduct its own review of the project submitted on the UMass protocol form. 

In any case, the UMass IACUC will need to see documentation from the other institution that its institution's IACUC has reviewed and approved the project before giving its final approval.  In many cases an Inter-Institutional Agreement (IIA) is completed.  This is initiated in the Research Compliance Office.  Please see the policy on collaborative work: http://www.umass.edu/research/policy/iacuc-policy-collaborative-work.

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Use of Animals at Foreign Institutions

International collaborations conducted at a foreign institution that use laboratory animals must be reviewed by the UMass IACUC if the funding for the project flows through this institution. For PHS-funded projects, the Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare (OLAW) at NIH requires that the host foreign institution has a "Foreign Assurance" approved by OLAW. A list of foreign institutions with Foreign Assurances and their Assurance numbers can be found on the OLAW website. If the foreign institution does not already have a Foreign Assurance with OLAW it will need to obtain one. The process begins once funding confirmation has been received.   For more information call Alison Miller at (413) 545-5204. 

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Off-Campus Internships and Employment that Involve the Use of Live Animals

There are many opportunities for students to participate in internships or find summer employment at facilities that work with live animals. These include zoos, animal shelters and rescue organizations, and farms among others. Students may or may not receive UMass credit for internships. The IACUC does not need to review a student's activities involving live animals when:

  1. That activity does not involve any change in the activities associated with the care of these animals (i.e., the student's activities do not involve a change in the usual routine for the animals).
  2. The student is supervised by a person with appropriate expertise who has overall responsibility for the care and husbandry of the animals.

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Custom Antibody Production by an Off-campus Facility

The generation of custom antibodies is an activity involving vertebrate animals and is therefore covered by Public Health Service (PHS) Policy. Antibodies are considered customized if produced using antigen(s) provided by or at the request of the PI (i.e. not purchased off-the-shelf). Any organization producing custom antibodies for a UMass PI must have an OLAW Assurance and, if AWA-covered species are to be used, a USDA registration. The PI must provide the date (verification) of project-specific IACUC approval for the production of the antibodies to the UMass IACUC Office. The IACUC Office can advise on obtaining the necessary verification of IACUC approval.