Care & Use of Animals

Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) & Laboratory Animal Resources (LAR)

 

Meet with IACUC Staff

The Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) is a federally mandated committee, qualified through the experience and expertise of its members, who oversee UAlbany’s animal care and use program, facilities and procedures.

The Committee is the University's regulatory authority that ensures approved research, teaching and testing involving vertebrate animals is conducted humanely, ethically and in compliance with regulations. 

To learn more about the IACUC at UAlbany, please read our Animal Welfare Assurance with the National Institutes of Health Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare.

Our staff members are available to consult on the IACUC review process.

Email [email protected] to set up an appointment. Or attend our open office hours, when no appointment is required.

Open offices hours are held from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. Tuesdays and from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. Wednesdays in Earth Sciences, Room 244, on UAlbany’s Uptown Campus.

 

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Meet with LAR Staff

Laboratory Animal Resources (LAR) provides for the care and wellbeing of animals used for research, training and education at UAlbany, while ensuring the University complies with all standards mandated by federal and state law, accrediting bodies and the IACUC. 

LAR staff members and the attending veterinarian are available to consult on plans for research animals' care and treatment. Email [email protected] to set up an appointment.
 

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Accessing Animal Facilities at UAlbany

Access to the animal facilities is limited for security reasons, per Standard Operating Procedure 519 (see below).

Tours are restricted to collaborating scientists and prospective faculty members and given at the discretion of the Laboratory Animal Resources Director.  

Please contact [email protected] for additional information.

Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) & Related Forms

Please use your UAlbany NetID and password to access the following documents.

Anesthesia and Analgesia 

Surgery 

Euthanasia 

Experimental Guidelines 

Animal Care 

Veterinary Care 

Occupational Health and Safety 

Complete Required Training 

UAlbany is required to train its research personnel in the basic principles of laboratory animal science and care to ensure high quality science and animal well-being.  

PIs may use the Training Documentation Form to track their staff members’ training.

Please refer to the Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals for more information. 
 

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Animal Use Training

Anyone working with live vertebrate animals at UAlbany must complete basic animal use training before obtaining IACUC approval and starting their work. Training must be refreshed once every five years. 

All Animal Use Trainings are available online via the CITI Training Program.

Principal Investigators (PIs) and key personnel must complete the "IACUC: Animal Care and Use (Investigators)" course.

Based on the activities described in their animal use protocol, PIs and key personnel must also complete all specialized courses relevant to their work, which include: 

Mice: 

  • IACUC: Working with Mice 

  • IACUC: Reducing Pain and Distress in Mice and Rats 

  • IACUC: Post-Procedure Care of Mice and Rats 

Rats: 

  • IACUC: Working with Rats 

  • IACUC: Reducing Pain and Distress in Mice and Rats 

  • IACUC: Post-Procedure Care of Mice and Rats 

Amphibians: IACUC: Working with Amphibians 

Hamsters: IACUC: Working with Hamsters 

Field Studies & Wildlife Research: IACUC: Wildlife Research

Occupational Health and Safety Program (OHSP) for Animal Users

All animal care staff members and all personnel listed on an active animal use protocol must complete the Occupational Health and Safety Program (OHSP) for Animals Users. 

Required personnel must complete the "Animal Biosafety" training, which is listed in the Biosafety/Biosecurity Course series and available online via the CITI Training Program.

Required personnel must also submit a Health History Form and then resubmit the form annually while working with animals.

Laboratory Animal Resource (LAR) Training

LAR administers mandatory and optional hands-on training to any employees who use animals in their research. 

Mandatory Training 

Anyone working in a laboratory with rodents must complete facility-specific training before getting swipe card access to the facility. 

The Facilities Manager will contact everyone listed on an IACUC-approved protocol to schedule a facility-specific training, which will include: 

  • An orientation on the animal facility’s policies and procedures 

  • A tour of the vivarium 

  • CO2 euthanasia training, if applicable 

  • Orientation booklet

Optional Training 

LAR staff members also offer optional trainings for animal research personnel, including: 

  • Rodent handling 

  • Rodent breeding 

  • Basic research techniques, such as injections, blood sampling and gavage

  • Aseptic surgical procedures 

To request optional training, please email [email protected]

Obtain IACUC Review

IACUC approval is required before conducting research or teaching activities with vertebrate animals and before implementing changes to approved protocols, including closure.

The IACUC may only approval animal use protocols for periods of up to three years. This means:

  • Animal use activities continuing beyond three years must be reviewed and approved by the IACUC as if they were new activities. If a protocol approval expires before the IACUC has approved a continuation, all use of animals (including breeding) must cease until the IACUC has granted a new approval.
  • Investigators with live animals who may have an upcoming lapse should work with LAR to transfer the animals to the LAR holding protocol to avoid noncompliance. Note: Investigators are responsible for per diems while their animals are being held and sponsored accounts cannot be used for those expenses.

The IACUC meets monthly to review animal use protocol submissions. 

Please submit your application by the posted deadlines to ensure it is reviewed in a timely manner — especially when approvals are required to meet funding deadlines. 
 

MonthIACUC Review MeetingSubmission Deadline
JuneJune 25, 2024June 4, 2024


Please use the following instructions for new submissions, triennial renewals, and requests to modify and/or amend approved protocols:
 

review
Step 1: Consult LAR & the Attending Veterinarian

All investigators who will house or otherwise use vertebrate animals on campus should consult with LAR to ensure adequate care is available before submitting a protocol to IACUC.

All investigators should also consult with the attending veterinarian, or AV, when planning any protocols involving potentially painful or distressing procedures for vertebrate animals.

The attending veterinarian welcomes discussions regarding animal care and use protocols. Ideally, these conversations should take place during a study’s planning stages and include any concerns about surgery, anesthesia, analgesia and procedures that could cause more than momentary distress. 

To schedule an appointment with the attending veterinarian, email [email protected].

Step 2: Develop a Submission (Forms & Templates)

Submissions must be written in a style suitable for presentation to an undergraduate first-year class. Don’t use jargon, terms of art or technical language. If the application does not use layperson’s terminology, the protocol will be returned to the investigator. 

Do not include IACUC or Laboratory Animal Resources (LAR) standard operating procedures (SOPs) in your submission. You should include your study-specific experimental procedures (Lab EP) and, if needed, simply refer to any standard operating procedures by their name and number (for example, SOP 301. Rodent Euthanasia).  

Animal use protocol submissions must be deemed “complete” before they are considered “received” for compliance purposes.  
 

New protocols must include the following: 

Triennial Submissions 

Every three years, investigators must submit a new application to maintain IACUC approval for their ongoing research. The IACUC must perform a “de novo” review of these triennial submissions.  

Investigators preparing triennial submissions should review all previously approved amendments and/or modifications and incorporate those changes in your renewal application, along with any new changes you plan to make. 

Triennial submissions must include a three-year progress report (Triennial Review Request), as well as all the items listed under “new protocols” above.
 

Requests to modify and/or amend an approved protocol must include:  

Study or protocol closure requests must include a Protocol Closure submission form. 

Step 3: Submit the Protocol

Animal use protocol submissions must be sent to [email protected]. Hard copy submissions are not accepted. Be sure to include all required forms as email attachments. 

Submissions must come from a @albany.edu email address. Please submit one protocol per grant or funding application, then send each submission in its own email. 

Requests that do not follow instructions will be returned without review. If you have any questions about required forms and documents, please contact [email protected].
 

New Submissions & Triennial Renewals 

For new protocol submissions, the subject line should read, “New Study Application.” 

For triennial protocol renewals, the subject line should read “Renewal/De Novo Application” 

If the project is supported by external funds, the vertebrate animal section (VAS) must be included. The VAS is the section of proposal, grant or contract where you describe the proposed use of animals.
 

Requests to Modify and/or Amend Approved Protocols 

The subject line should read, “Modification Application [IACUC protocol number].” 

Documents must be in separate files, using this naming convention: [Investigator last name] - [IACUC protocol number] - Modification.docx 

To add new animal experiments, include an Experimental Timeline document. If required, change the approved Lab EP and Procedure document to include updated documents. (See Step 2 above for templates.)

If the project is supported by external funds and the proposed modification is significant, you may also need to request modification to the funding and obtain sponsor approval. Contact your Sponsored Program Administrator for assistance. 
 

Study or Protocol Closure Requests 

The subject line should read, “Closure Application.” 

Please use this naming convention for your file: [Investigator last name] - [IACUC protocol number] - Closure.docx.

Step 4: Undergo Administrative Assessment

The administrative assessment process aims to identify any incomplete or unclear information in a submission that would prevent or delay approval by the IACUC. 

Submissions are also sent to LAR and the attending veterinarian (AV). LAR will confirm that the proposed animals can be supported in the facility. The AV will confirm whether the animal use plans include any of following: 

  • Regimens for use of anesthetics, analgesics and tranquilizers, including monitoring 

  • Appropriate of euthanasia method(s) 

  • Plans for addressing species-specific signs of pain and distress 

  • Surgical approaches and aseptic techniques 

  • Post-procedural monitoring and intensive care 

The PI must respond to any identified issues and revise their submission materials before the documents can be reviewed by the IACUC. 

Protocols that require extensive revision or are missing a significant amount of information will take longer to review. 

Step 5: Undergo IACUC Review

Animal use protocol submissions are reviewed by the IACUC during their scheduled monthly meetings.

Some submissions — such as those that involve USDA regulated species and/or multiple major surgeries in any species — must be reviewed by the full committee during a scheduled meeting.

For other submissions, the full committee may elect to send a protocol for expedited review. This happens when no member calls for the protocol to be reviewed by the full IACUC, then a designated member will be assigned to review the submission outside of a scheduled meeting. 

The designated member may send a protocol submission for a full committee review, if necessary.

When a submission is reviewed, the IACUC will determine if the protocol meets approval criteria. If changes are requested, an IACUC staff member will work with you to address the request. 

Order Animals 

Principal Investigators must order animals from an approved vendor, per Standard Operating Procedure 501 (SOP 501), unless the IACUC approves an exemption.

Our approved vendors include Charles River Laboratories, Cyagen Biosciences Inc., Envigo, Jackson Laboratories, Harlan Laboratories and Taconic Biosciences. 

Animals ordered from unapproved vendors must be received into quarantine for about eight to 10 weeks and must be approved by the Attending Veterinarian, per SOP 605. Review all SOPs. 

Principal Investigators (PIs) must submit a completed Animal Authorization Form for each IACUC-approved protocol before ordering animals, for the purpose of charging per diems. 

Next, send a completed Purchase Requisition Form — signed by the PI, with the approved protocol number in the lower right corner — to the LAR Facilities Manager at [email protected]

Once the Facilities Manager approves the requisition form, it will be sent to the Purchasing Department for processing. 

Learn more about Animal Facility Rates.

 

order-animals

Report Animal Welfare Concerns 

Anyone who suspects animal misuse is obligated to report their concern to one of the following entities: 

You may also report a concern anonymously, if you wish. Reports may be shared among the entities listed above, for informal consultation, before an informal report is filed. 

UAlbany will protect anyone who makes good faith allegations of animal misuse to appropriate institutional authorities. The IACUC handles reports in a way that protects the reputation and well-being of both the accused and the accuser. 

Anyone who makes wrongful allegations of animal misuse with malicious or vengeful intent, or who takes wrongful action against the accuser because they have reported suspected animal misuse, will be subject to disciplinary actions by the University. 

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