The requirement for an IACUC is set forth under the authority of section 13(b) of the Animal Welfare Act (AWA) (7 U.S.C., 2143). The IACUC regulations promulgated under this authority are set forth in Title 9 C.F.R., Chapter 1, Subchapter A - Animal Welfare, Part 2, Section 2.31. Section numbers are given for reference to the actual wording of each requirement.

Definition - Committee: means the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) established under section 13(b) of the Act. It shall consist of at least three members, one of whom is the attending veterinarian of the research facility and one of whom is not affiliated in any way with the facility other than as a member of the committee, however, if the research facility has more than one Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM), another DVM with delegated program responsibility may serve. The research facility shall establish the Committee for the purpose of evaluating the care, treatment, housing, and use of animals, and for certifying compliance with the Act by the research facility (Sect. 1.1).

I. IACUC Appointment & Membership (Sect. 2.31 (a) & (b)):

(a) The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of each research facility is required, by law, to appoint an IACUC. Those persons appointed to this committee must be qualified through experience and expertise to assess the research facilities animal program, facilities, and procedures (Sect. 2.31(a)).

(b) The members of the IACUC must be appointed by the CEO of the research facility. The IACUC is to consist of no less than three members as follows (Sect. 2.31 (b)):

(1) A Chairman.

(2) A Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) with training or experience in laboratory animal science and medicine and who has direct or delegated program responsibility for activities involving animals at the research facility. The DVM can not be a researcher who has no direct or delegated responsibility for animals at the facility. Although not specifically prohibited by the regulations, the attending veterinarian should not also be the IACUC chairman.

(3) A nonaffiliated member. This person is not to be affiliated with the research facility in any way other than as a member of the IACUC and can not be a member of the immediate family of a person who is affiliated with the research facility. This person is to provide representation for the general community interests in the proper care and treatment of animals. The nonaffiliated member can not be paid for his or her services on the committee. Expenses such as, travel or mileage, meals and parking may be reimbursed however.

(4) Should the committee consist of more than three members (NIH requires at least five members on the IACUC), no more than three members can be from the same administrative unit of the facility (Departmental level), (Sect. 2.31 (b)(4)).

USDA. APHIS. Animal Care.

The manual gives policies issued by APHIS/Animal Care that clarify the Animal Welfare Act regulations. Originally issued in April 1997, new policies may be added at any time and included in the manual.


DHHS. PHS. NIH. Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare.


This tutorial is for new animal care and use committee members, institutional administrators, investigators, animal care personnel, veterinarians, and others who are interested in learning about the Public Health Service (PHS) Policy on Humane Care and Use of Laboratory Animals (Policy).