The MPFI Animal Resource Center is committed to using best practices when it comes to caring for the animals in our facility. The Animal Welfare Act and The Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals (ILAR Guide) detail basic behavioral management expectations in the broad areas of structural environment, social environment, and activity. General laboratory animal expectations assume that animals that are relaxed and comfortable and able to express species specific behaviors are a more stable research platform and provide more accurate research data.
The MPFI ARC is accredited by AAALACi, a private, nonprofit organization that promotes the humane treatment of animals in science through voluntary accreditation and assessment programs.
The Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC)
An Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) is a local working group that research facilities must appoint in accordance with the Animal Welfare Act (AWA) and PHS Policy on Humane Care and Use of Laboratory Animals. At least one member of the IACUC must be a veterinarian with the responsibility for providing care to the animals used in research and one must be a public member not affiliated with the institution in any way other than performing IACUC duties.
Among the most important IACUC functions are to:
- Review and approve proposed activities that will involve animals as well as any significant changes in IACUC-approved proposals that may arise later. These proposals must be approved by the IACUC before activity begins and provide detailed information such as assurances that alternatives to potentially painful procedures were actively considered, that a veterinarian was consulted in the design of the project to assure that pain or distress animals might experience will be avoided or minimized and that the project does not unnecessarily duplicate previous experiments.
- Inspect all animal facilities and study areas every six months.
- Monitor the institution’s program for humane care and use of animals; evaluate compliance with the AWA, PHS Policy and other requirements and report to the responsible institutional official and federal agencies as described in their respective rules.