Faculty Handbook

Use of Animals in Research, Teaching, and Outreach

The use of animals in research, teaching, and outreach activities is subject to state and federal laws, policies, accreditation standards, and guidelines. Specifically:

Responsibility for assuring compliance with state and federal regulations belongs to the Vice President for Research and Graduate Studies who is the Institutional Official as defined in federal regulations.



The IACUC has responsibility and authority under federal law for the assessment and oversight of the institution's program of animal care and facilities.

Project directors are responsible for the humane treatment of animals under their supervision, and for adherence to applicable University, state, and federal regulations. University personnel planning to use live vertebrate animals must submit an animal use protocol through Click (https://animalcare.msu.edu/click/index.html), exemption request, or an Outreach Notification Form to the IACUC prior to the start of the project (https://animalcare.msu.edu/click/index.html). Required information includes complete descriptions of experimental protocols, plans for animal care, available facilities, and any other matters relevant to the project. Work with animals cannot commence until the activity has been approved by the IACUC or an exemption has been granted.

Individuals involved in activities using animals at or under the sponsorship of MSU are responsible for conducting sound ethical research, teaching, and/or outreach activities consistent with the plans approved by the IACUC, following MSU policies and procedures, and complying with all applicable laws, regulations, and agency policies. The principal investigator is responsible for the conduct and oversight of the animal activity, and for the protection of the animals involved. The following principal investigator responsibilities are not necessarily all inclusive and encompass requirements that others involved in the conduct of animal activities also must follow.

In general, the principal investigator must:
1. Be aware of appropriate policies, procedures, and guidelines that apply to their activities; if in doubt about any aspect of the use of animals, contact the IACUC to obtain relevant information.

2. Maintain current training records on the use of animals and ensure that all personnel under his or her supervision that have contact with the animals have current animal training including the appropriate Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) training and Occupational Health assessments.

3. Maintain adequate oversight over the conduct of the activities, including all personnel involved in the activities.

4. Obtain prior IACUC approval as required, including but not limited to:
a. Before initiating activities using animals at MSU and/or at any performance site.
b. Modifications to the approved activities prior to implementing any changes, except those necessary to eliminate apparent immediate hazards.
c. Renewal of the approval as required and in sufficient time to allow for IACUC review prior to the expiration of current approval.

5. Report to the IACUC as required, including but not limited to:
a. Activities or circumstances that may affect the well-being and/or welfare of the animals, including animal welfare concerns, complaints or questions.
b. Unanticipated problems involving the animals.
c. Potentially serious or continuing noncompliance with the regulations or the requirements or determinations of the IACUC.
d. Emergency clinical interventions.
e. Protocol deviations.

6. Maintain activity records as required by MSU and applicable regulations after completion of the study, at a minimum of three years.

Individuals are encouraged to contact the IACUC office by phone: (517) 432-8103 or email: iacuc@msu.edu with any questions, such as what type of IACUC review is required. Additional information can be found at the IACUC website: https://animalcare.msu.edu/.

Campus Animal Resources

Campus Animal Resources (CAR) is comprised of biomedical animal housing facilities and University and Extension farms. CAR reports to the Vice President for Research and Graduate Studies and provides a comprehensive program of animal care for all animal colonies, as well as training in animal practices and procedures for personnel. CAR also participates in developing institutional policies designed to insure humane treatment of animals and to assist personnel in maintaining high quality care of animals used at MSU. The MSU Attending Veterinarian has oversight over animal welfare for all animals used in research, teaching, testing and production at MSU.

Additional information regarding both general principles and specific issues that apply to the care and use of animals at Michigan State University is available through CAR and the IACUC.

Individuals are encouraged to contact CAR by email: carinfo@msu.edu. Additional information can be found at the CAR website: https://animalcare.msu.edu/.

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