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About the ACUC

[updated 17 October 2017]

Federal regulations require the use of an ACUC at any institution that uses animals as per the USDA definition or has vertebrate species research supported by the PHS. The tasks of an ACUC include reviewing all protocols involving the use of animals by an employee of that institution as part of his/her official duties. The meaning of “use of animals” is not limited to usage on campus, but also includes field studies. 

What We Use

Protocol Submission

This is the link to the protocol application. Please make sure you are using the latest version of the protocol application or upon submission, you may be asked to rewrite your protocol onto the most current version in use. Please note the Signature page in the protocol application, page 3, Additional Personnel section is the signature section that needs to be completed thoroughly. Completed signature pages need to be mailed to the Office of Research Compliance (Building 1-229). This is a requirement for protocol approval.  

Why We Exist

The need to have regulatory oversight for animal welfare in research laboratories was recognized in late 19th century Great Britain, and led to the Cruelty to Animals Act. Early national animal welfare legislation in the U.S. concerned the transport of farm animals, but was silent on laboratory animals. However, individual states (e.g., New York, Pennsylvania, and Massachusetts) began passage of laws to regulate laboratory animals as early as 1866. The first piece of national legislation regulating the care and use of laboratory animals was the Animal Welfare Act of 1966. In the 19th and early 20th century there were no standards for the care of laboratory animals. This responsibility lay with the laboratory director, resulting in significant differences in care between laboratories, even within the same institution. Even if scientists wanted to have high standards of laboratory animal welfare, there were no organizations dedicated to establishing standards for the care, maintenance, and breeding of laboratory animals. Inconsistency in laboratory animal care led to inconsistency in research results, as well as problems in conducting long term studies since many animals had chronic infections.

aalac accreditationThe establishment of the Animal Care Panel, which eventually became the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS), provided the infrastructure needed to produce the first edition of the Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals. This is the primary reference for animal care policies and guidelines in the U.S., as well as many other countries in the world. AALAS appointed an Animal Accreditation Committee to evaluate animal research facilities in the 1960s, using the standards in the Guide. This committee eventually became an independent organization (Association for the Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care International) devoted to the assessment and accreditation of laboratory animal facilities around the world.

National standards for laboratory animal care were enacted in 1966 (The Laboratory Animal Welfare Act), with enforcement authority given to USDA. The act required research labs and dealers to be licensed and be subject to inspection. However, the current Act still excludes most rodents, birds, and farm animals used in production agriculture.

The first Public Health Service policy on laboratory animal care and use (1973) evolved from an NIH policy, and has undergone several revisions. These policies introduced the concept of periodic evaluations of the standards of care and use of laboratory animals in institutions that received PHS support. These evaluations could be carried out by an institutional committee or a recognized professional laboratory accrediting body. However, under this policy AAALAC accredited institutions were not required to have an evaluation committee, since AAALAC subsumed this function. However, in 1979 a revision to the PHS policy required all animal using grantee institutions to have a committee to maintain oversight of its animal program. Over the ensuing years recommendations as to committee membership have become codified into the policy, with written requirements for training of investigators in animal care and use. Eventually, both the USDA and the Department of Defense instituted requirements that an animal care and use committee be established at research institutions or sponsored labs.

(From OLAW list serve 3 March 11): The NIH, USDA, and FDA have participated under a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) Concerning Laboratory Animal Welfare for more than two decades. Each agency, operating under its own authority, has specific responsibilities for fostering proper animal care and welfare. This agreement sets forth a framework for reciprocal cooperation intended to enhance agency effectiveness while avoiding duplication of efforts in achieving required standards for the care and use of laboratory animals. The new MOU is available at: http://grants.nih.gov/grants/olaw/references/finalmou.htm.

What We Do

The ACUC is composed of faculty and staff with experience in animal care and use, a veterinarian, and at least one outside member who represents community values. The committee has a face-to-face meeting at least once each quarter, at which time we conduct protocol reviews, perform inspections, and carry out other business as required. However, between these meetings we will review protocols electronically as they are submitted. While we have designated primary reviewers, all members can participate in the review of any application, thus contributing to ensuring animal welfare at Cal Poly Pomona.

All institutions conducting research with vertebrate animals are required to comply with various regulations and policies, both federal and local.

The Animal Welfare Act is a law covering species used in research other than rats, mice, and birds. The campus is subject to inspections by veterinary medical officers from the United States Department of Agriculture to assure our compliance with the regulations.

For research funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the policies of the Public Health Service (PHS) apply. More specifically, the Office for Laboratory Animal Welfare (OLAW) of the PHS requires institutions to establish and maintain proper measures to ensure the appropriate care and use of all animals involved in research, training, and biological testing activities financially supported by PHS. Further, the research is evaluated against the standards established in the “Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals” which covers institutional polices, animal environment and housing, veterinary care, and the facilities.

Both the USDA and the PHS mandate that an animal care and use committee (ACUC) be established. At Cal Poly Pomona the ACUC is charged with the responsibility of assuring that research projects on campus are in compliance with all applicable regulations. Among other things, this means the review of animal study proposals, oversight of the program, and inspections of areas housing and using laboratory animals.

  • The Public Health Service (PHS) Policy on Humane Care and Use of Laboratory Animals (Policy), section IV.B.1.-2., requires the Animal Care and Use Committee (ACUC) to review the institution's program for humane care and use of animals and inspect all of the institution's animal facilities at least once every 6 months using the Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals: Eighth Edition (Guide) as a basis for evaluation. Cal Poly Pomona holds the Semi-Annual inspections during Fall and Spring Quarters.

  • The ACUC has a process for monitoring the animal units on campus during quarters that do not have Semi- Annual Inspections. You can learn more about this process by clicking on this link.      

 

USDA: http://www.aphis.usda.gov/wps/portal/aphis/ourfocus/animalwelfare

PHS: http://grants.nih.gov/grants/olaw/references/phspol.htm

the ILAR Guide:  Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals, 2011

How We Do It

The ACUC is administratively managed by the Office of Research Compliance. Investigators should use the ACUC Protocol Approval Application Form when making an application to the ACUC.  Submit your application electronically to the secure ACUC protocol web site at https://academic.cpp.edu/animalcare/.

The Cal Poly Pomona occupational health program is designed to protect both personnel and laboratory animals.  All personnel who work or study in a laboratory animal facility (LAF) or who have substantial contact with animals or tissues (> 8 hours per week) should be familiar with this program.  This would include those involved with the direct care of or are within the living quarters of animals or have direct contact with live or dead animals, their viable tissues, body fluids, or wastes. In addition to insuring animal health and welfare, our approval process requires all investigators (faculty, staff, and students) to fill out an eRASQ (electronic Risk Assessment Safety Questionnaire) (see http://www.cpp.edu/~research/acuc/safety-while-using-animals.shtml and possibly the Health History Questionnaire (HHQ) if there is potential exposure to infectious or toxic agents). These questionnaires are reviewed by the Environmental Health & Safety office and a University physician. It's confidential and will take only a few minutes.  And if you want a medical opinion, you may request to be seen by a medical professional by completing the HHQ. The Principal Investigator (PI) will be contacted if any problems are determined

Competency after training is a combination of knowledge and technique. The Cal Poly Pomona ACUC adopted the CITI (Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative) on-line program to provide a consistent high-quality format for information about using animals in research and teaching. The CITI program was introduced in 2010 and became mandatory for protocol approval in 2011.