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IACUC Policies, Procedures and Forms

Title Description
Protocol Application Initial application to IACUC for review of an animal research protocol.  The application form includes instructions.
IACUC Amendment Request (adminstrative changes) Form to complete to request an administrative amendment to an active protocol
IACUC Amendment Request (significant form 2) Form to complete to request an significant amendment to an active protocol
Annual Review Form Form to complete for annual review of current protocols
Policies and Procedures Policies and Procedures Manual
Vivarium Training Vivarium Training

OLAW Assurance and Federal Regulations Governing Animal Research

The National Institutes of Health’s Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare (OLAW) has oversight for the use of animals in research in the U.S.  Researchers are encouraged to visit the OLAW website for complete regulations and other information.

TCU’s practices and policies are in compliance with OLAW requirements, and TCU holds an OLAW Certificate of Assurance.
Any person with concerns about procedures and practices observed with animal care should report these to one of:
Lorrie Branson, IACUC Chairperson, 3101 Sadler Hall
Bonnie Melhart, Associate Provost of Research, 3101 Sadler Hall

To the extent possible, reports will be held in confidence.  TCU’s Policy on Ethical Conduct in Research includes the tenet “that the privacy of an Accuser who reports apparent unethical conduct in good faith shall be protected to the maximm extent that is consistent with the fair treatment of the Accused.  Retaliation against the Accuser shall be prohibited and will subject a person who retaliates to disciplinary proceedings.”

Instructions for Submitting Protocols to IACUC

Initial Review

Teaching or research projects that use animals must have IACUC approval before project initiation.

Complete the Protocol Application for any new use of animals for teaching or research.  Follow all instructions that are set forth in the application.  Prior to submission to the full committee, the TCU IACUC Chairperson will conduct a preliminary review of the application for completeness.  Also, the Attending Veterinarian will review the protocol application for procedures related to animal husbandry, euthanasia, and interventions designed to minimize pain or distress.

Once the preliminary reviews are conducted, all protocols are sent to the full IACUC for assessment.  If any member desires to have a protocol reviewed by the full committee, they will notify the IACUC chairperson within the allotted time and make such request.  If no request for a full committee review is made, the protocol will be assigned by the IACUC Chairperson to a designated IACUC member for review.  The designated reviewer may approve or request changes to a protocol but cannot reject a protocol.  The designated reviewer may choose to send the protocol to the full committee.

The IACUC Chairperson will notify the Investigator of the Committee action. Approved applications will be assigned a protocol number which must be referenced on: (1) All internal correspondence regarding the negotiated animal use, (2) Purchase order requisitions for the animals, and (3) Identification cards required for all of the animals.  Upon receipt of protocol application approved by IACUC, the Investigator should forward copies of the signed Committee Action Form to the appropriate sponsoring agency.

Annual Review and Expiration

IACUC approval is effective for no more than three years.  All protocols are subject to an IACUC annual review.  Failure to timely submit an annual review can result in the protocol being suspended until the review form is submitted.  If the research or teaching activity is to continue beyond three years, a new Protocol Application must be submitted as instructed above.

For annual reviews of USDA regulated species, complete the Annual Review Form and submit electronically within 30 days of the first and second anniversaries of the initial IACUC approval shown on the Committee Action Form to iacuc@tcu.edu.

For annual reviews of non-USDA regulated species, complete the Annual Review Form and submit electronically on or before June 1st of the first and second years of the protocol’s three year approval term to iacuc@tcu.edu.

Changes to an Approved Protocol

Any changes in personnel, funding agency, species, number of animals, or procedures must be reported to and approved by the TCU IACUC before the change may be implemented.

To request a change, complete the IACUC Amendment Request Form prior to implementing any protocol changes and submit the form to the Chair IACUC at iacuc@tcu.edu.  Approved changes to a protocol do not change the expiration date.

USDA Categories of Animals Used in Research

Category Description Examples
B Animals being bred, conditioned, or held for use in teaching, testing, experiments, research, or surgery but not yet used for such purposes. Breeding or Holding Colony Protocols
C No more than momentary or slight pain or distress and no use of pain-relieving drugs, or no pain or distress. For example: euthanatized for tissues; just observed under normal conditions; positive reward projects; routine procedures; injections; and blood sampling.
  1. Holding or weighing animals in teaching or research activities.
  2. Injections, blood collection or catheter implantation via superficial vessels.
  3. Tattooing animals.
  4. Ear punching of rodents.
  5. Routine physical examinations.
  6. Observation of animal behavior.
  7. Feeding studies, which do not result in clinical health problems.
  8. AVMA-approved humane euthanasia procedures.
  9. Routine agricultural husbandry procedures.
  10. Live trapping.
  11. Positive reward projects.
D Pain or distress appropriately relieved with anesthetics, analgesics and/or tranquilizer drugs or other methods for relieving pain or distress.
  1. Diagnostic procedures such as laparoscopy or needle biopsies.
  2. Non-survival surgical procedures.
  3. Survival surgical procedures.
  4. Post operative pain or distress.
  5. Ocular blood collection in mice.
  6. Terminal cardiac blood collection.
  7. Any post procedural outcome resulting in evident pain, discomfort Or distress such as that associated with decreased appetite/activity level, adverse reactions, to touch, open skin lesions, abscesses, lameness, conjunctivitis, corneal edema and photophobia.
  8. Exposure of blood vessels for catheter implantation.
  9. Exsanguination under anesthesia.
  10. Induced infections or antibody production with appropriate anesthesia and post-op/post- procedure analgesia when necessary.
E Pain or distress or potential pain or distress that is not relieved with anesthetics, analgesics and/or tranquilizer drugs or other methods for relieving pain or distress.
  1. Toxicological or microbiological testing, cancer research or infectious disease research that requires continuation until clinical symptoms are evident or death occurs.
  2. Ocular or skin irritancy testing.
  3. Food or water deprivation beyond that necessary for ordinary pre-surgical preparation.
  4. Application of noxious stimuli such as electrical shock if the animal cannot avoid/escape the stimuli and/or it is severe enough to cause injury or more than momentary pain or distress.
  5. Infliction of burns or trauma.
  6. Prolonged restraint.
  7. Any procedures for which needed analgesics, tranquilizers, sedatives, or anesthetics must be withheld for justifiable study purposes.
  8. Use of paralyzing or immobilizing drugs for restraint.
  9. Exposure to abnormal  or extreme environmental conditions.
  10. Psychotic-like behavior suggesting a painful or distressful status.
  11. Euthanasia by procedures not approved by the AVMA.

(Note: there is no USDA Category A.)