Ensuring that animals are used appropriately and cared for humanely is a responsibility borne by both the scientific community and society at large. There are good reasons to use animals in research and in other projects, but respect for life and the duty not to cause unnecessary harm place constraints on those activities.
Upholding the University's responsibility toward its animals is the charge of the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC), as specified by the current Board of Regents policy on "Animal Care and Use."
IACUC oversees all of the University's programs and facilities that either house or use animals. Its primary task is to review proposals for projects that involve animals to ensure that those projects fulfill two general criteria:
- The benefits of animal use must outweigh the ethical cost
- The welfare of the animals involved must be ensured
The scope of IACUC’s responsibility for review covers all animal use at all University of Minnesota campuses and facilities.
IACUC also regularly inspects each project and facility that uses animals, reevaluates the University's overall animal care and use program semi-annually, and facilitates the training and education of the research community and general public regarding animal care and use.