The Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) directly conducts or is associated with many different inspections related to animal care. Educating the research community on the scope of each type of inspection is an ongoing goal of IACUC leadership.
Types of Inspections
Listed below are the types of inspections you may encounter. The online 360 degree Virtual Facility Inspection Tour provides additional details on what inspectors are looking for.
Post Approval Monitoring
Post approval monitoring inspections are protocol-based inspections. Frequency is dependent on the species used and procedures conducted.
Semiannual inspections occur on an ongoing basis throughout the calendar year. They focus on facility appearance and animal welfare.
Frequency of Inspections
Federal regulations governing the use of animals in research require that the IACUC review and inspect the care and treatment of animals in all animal study areas at least once every six months. These inspections must be performed by at least two IACUC members. Study areas include any place where animals are housed for greater than 12 hours and where surgical manipulations are conducted.
As part of their oversight responsibilities, the IACUC has also initiated a policy for separate inspections of facilities and areas using animals outside of an approved RAR housing.
Records to Keep For Animals on a Protocol
A postoperative record should be kept in the room where the animals are housed. Having the record in the room accomplishes several functions:
Explains the condition of the animals to animal care staff; a sedated animal may otherwise be thought to be ill
Assures animal care staff and federal inspectors that the animal is being cared for
Informs animal care staff how recently the investigator has seen the animal; this knowledge helps them decide whether or not there is a need to contact the investigator to inform him or her of the present condition of the animal
Although individual records are desirable, a composite postoperative record may be used for a group of rodents. Download an example of a Postoperative Care Record here; this example may be copied or modified as needed.
Important information to include in the postoperative record are the animal's identification, surgical procedure summary, any therapeutics given (including drugs and doses), routes of administration, and the observation date and findings. After all wounds have healed and all sutures/wound clips have been removed, the postoperative record requires no further entries. When the study is completed and the animals are euthanized, the record may either be kept by the investigator or discarded.