About the Animal Care and Use Program
All institutions using vertebrate animals for research or instruction must establish an Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) to oversee and evaluate the institution’s animal care and use program. This committee at UC Berkeley, known as the Animal Care and Use Committee (ACUC), falls under the purview of the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research.
With accreditation by the Association for Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care, International (AAALAC), a PHS Assurance, and registration with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), the Animal Care and Use program at the UC Berkeley campus is serious about setting, achieving and maintaining high standards for animal care and use that will facilitate teaching and research beneficial to society. To that end, the Animal Care and Use Committee (ACUC) oversees the use of animals; the office of Animal Care and Use (OACU) administratively supports ACUC; and, the Office for Laboratory Animal Care (OLAC) ensures the health and well-being of animals used in research and teaching.
Animal Care and Use Committee
The Animal Care and Use Committee (ACUC) serves as the institutional animal care and use committee (IACUC) at UC Berkeley, which is responsible for oversight and evaluation of the campus’s overall animal care and use program. The program for animal care and use adheres to federal regulations, the National Research Council’s Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals and the Public Health Service’s (PHS) Policy on Humane Care and Use of Laboratory Animals. Specifically, the ACUC is charged with:
- Ensuring compliance with federal regulations by developing campus guidelines and policies
- Reviewing and approving all proposed uses of live vertebrate animals in research, teaching, and education to ensure ethical use of animals while minimizing pain or distress and reducing the numbers needed
- Inspection of facilities and animal activity areas
- Submission of reports to responsible institutional officials, and establishment of a mechanism for receipt and review of concerns involving the care and use of animals at our institution.
Office for Animal Care and Use
The Office for Animal Care and Use (OACU) administratively and operationally supports the ACUC and assists researchers in a number of ways:
- Doing administrative pre-review of protocols as well as advising investigators about writing, revising, and submitting their Master Animal Use Protocol (AUP)
- Managing site inspections to animal facilities and study areas
- Advising faculty on protocol submissions
- Facilitating new member training and refresher courses for ACUC members and investigators
- Comparing grants and Material Transfer Agreements (MTAs) to protocols
- Assisting in the implementation of the Occupational Health Program
- Offering general outreach to campus about the care and use of animals in research and teaching
- Coordinating a variety of administrative reviews to verify or certify research compliance and animal reporting
- Distribute a quarterly newsletter
Office of Laboratory Animal Care
The Office of Laboratory Animal Care (OLAC) ensures the health and wellbeing of animals used for research and teaching through the provision of veterinary care and oversight, animal husbandry (if not done by the PI), research support services, and training. In addition, OLAC is in charge of animal purchases and acquisition, husbandry and veterinary care, animal shipping, pharmacy and animal supply purchases, and accessing animal facilities.
Although the day-to-day assignment of space rests with OLAC, overall space needs and allocations fall under the purview of the Vice Chancellor for Research (VCR) with input from a faculty advisory committee, the Committee on Animal Research Space Assignment (CARSA).