Animal Subjects/IACUC

Vertebrate Animal Classroom Use, Demonstration or Display Short Form

Bringing vertebrate animals from an off-campus source into a UMass classroom or UMass property may require review and approval by the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC).  You will either be required to complete an IACUC protocol or describe the proposed use on this short form


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Mouse Breeding Policy for ACS Vivaria

The UMass Assurance with Public Health Service Policy requires compliance with federal animal welfare regulations and the Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals.  The eighth edition of the Guide contains specific floor space recommendations for breeding mice.   The aim of this policy is to meet the intent of the Guide using performance based standards of animal care and use while keeping in mind the special needs of investigators maintaining transgenic mouse breeding colonies.


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Use the Guidelines for the Use of Fishes in Research for guidance in using fish in research.


Institutional Policy for Oversight of Animal Use in Research and Teaching

The University of Massachusetts Amherst recognizes that the privilege of using animals in research is subject to three Congressional Acts: the Health Research Extension Act  (Public Law 99-158) and Public Health Service (PHS) Policy, the Food Security Act (Public Law 99-198), and the Animal Welfare Act (AWA) [7 U.S.C. 2131-2156].  Animal use policy at the University of Massachusetts Amherst (the University) applies each set of regulations equally to all vertebrate animal used for research and teaching.

The University has an NIH Assurance of Compliance with PHS Policy on Humane Care and Use of Laboratory Animals on file with OLAW/NIH.  This Assurance commits the University to comply with PHS Policy and documents University procedures to ensure compliance.  In accordance with its Assurance the University has committed to:

  • Comply with all applicable provisions of the Animal Welfare Act and other Federal statutes and regulations relating to animals.
  • Be guided by the “U.S. Government Principles for the Utilization and Care of Vertebrate Animals Used in Testing, Research, and Training.”
  • Acknowledge and accept responsibility for the care and use of animals involved in activities covered by the Assurance. 
  • Make a reasonable effort to ensure that all individuals involved in the care and use of laboratory animals understand their individual and collective responsibilities for compliance with the Assurance as well as all other applicable laws and regulations pertaining to animal care and use.
  • Establish and maintain a program for activities involving animals in accordance with the ILAR Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals  (the Guide)

The university’s Animal Care facilities are built and operated in compliance with the Guide and recommendations developed by the Federation of Animal Science Societies.

The IACUC also follows guidelines published by the appropriate societies for reviewing protocols which involve field research.


Post Approval Monitoring (PAM) at UMass Amherst

The University of Massachusetts, Amherst is a Public Health Service (PHS) Assured Institution. Compliance Monitoring is sometimes referred to as Post Approval Monitoring (PAM), wherein approved animal work is continuously monitored during the approval period. The goal of continuous monitoring is to provide federally required assurance that animal work at UMASS Amherst is conducted according to federal regulations (as approved in animal use protocols).

PAM is accomplished in several ways at UMASS Amherst:

1. The Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) performs semi-annual inspections of all areas that house animals or where animals are used for experimental purposes. This includes, but is not limited to: support areas such as transportation vehicles, feed and bedding storage areas, wash rooms, surgical rooms, drugs and medications, and autoclaves. During these inspections, members of the IACUC are able to observe animals in their current housing locations and periodically may observe animals in active procedures. These inspections are typically announced, but may not be.

2. Each protocol is reviewed and approved for a 3 year period; however, the IACUC requires annual renewal of all protocols, thereby allowing for additional monitoring during the one year anniversary of a protocol.

3. The IACUC Office works closely with the Animal Care Services (ACS). Animal Care Technicians monitor health and well-being of animals daily. Animal Care Technicians often are the first to notice a problem, whether it is a facility issue, an animal health issue, or concerns regarding a procedure they may observe as they work in the facilities. Animal Care Technicians communicate concerns to ACS Managers who then communicate to the IACUC Office.

4. The Research Compliance Specialist may perform interim inspections and laboratory visits between the formal semi-annuals as one component of the PAM program. These visits are modeled on the semi-annual inspections where all facilities and labs in the program may be inspected for, but not limited to: animal well-being, cleanliness, expiration dates, labels, SOPs, up-to-date personnel lists, condition of equipment and surgical records. These visits are typically unannounced.

5. The IACUC Office may perform follow up checks to areas that were cited and reported as corrected in order to confirm correction is; complete, thorough and appropriate.

6. The Research Compliance Specialist may perform additional full protocol reviews. These focus on individual lab operations and research protocols and may include: meeting with PI or other lab personnel, performing facility and animal inspections, and observing procedures. These PAM visits will be announced scheduled visits. Compliance and the PI will work together to ensure all work is being performed in accordance with the approved protocol(s).


Updated August 12, 2015