Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee: Overview


I. Purpose

The Institutional Animal Care & Use Committee (IACUC) ensures that every project that involves the use of vertebrate animals at Long Island University is conducted according to the highest animal welfare standards. The IACUC promotes the conduct of accurate, valid scientific research through the supervision, coordination, training, guidance, and project review. LIU uses well-established procedures (similar to those used to monitor human subjects research) to review and monitor any research, teaching, or testing projects that involve the use animals.The IACUC has four main directives:
  1. Review and approve proposals for research, teaching, and testing that involve the use of animals.
  2. Evaluate animal care and use facilities.
  3. Review concerns about the use of animals.
  4. Ensure compliance with applicable federal regulations and guidance as well as organizational policies and guidance.
Faculty who conduct research or educational programs using live vertebrate animals are required to submit to the IACUC an application describing their proposed research. The information requested in the application is dictated by federal, state, and institutional policies, standards, and regulations. The requested information is essential for the IACUC to determine whether the proposed use of animals is justified, humane, and complies with existing policies and regulations. The IACUC must review and approve the application before the described activities and any live vertebrate animal research can begin.

II. Project Review Criteria

The IACUC carefully reviews the goals, objectives, and scientific benefits of all proposed projects to ensure that:
  • The project has appropriate merit;
  • The proposed research complies with all applicable federal, state, and University laws, regulations, and guidelines;
  • Humane use guidelines are followed and all animals involved are provided with the best possible treatment and professional veterinary care;
  • Those who will be working with the animals have received the proper training; and
  • Proper practices and procedures are in place to reduce as much pain and/or distress to the animals as possible.

III. Rules and Regulations

In the US, the use of live vertebrate animals in research, testing and educational programs must comply with the Public Health Service (PHS) policy on Humane Care and Use of Laboratory Animals (if the institution receives NIH funding), the Animal Welfare Act, and the regulations of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) when applicable. A brief summary of the federal standards governing the use of vertebrate animals in research, teaching, or testing activities are outlined below:

Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare (OLAW):

The Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare is a division of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and the regulating body for all activities funded by the federal government, including the NIH and NSF. OLAW's primary standards are the Public Health Service Policy on Humane Care and Use of Laboratory Animals (PHS Policy), and the Guide for the Care and Use of Animals (Guide).

United States Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service:

The U.S. Department of Agriculture, APHIS, oversees activities involving the use of vertebrate animals (not including certain species of mice, rats, and birds) at government registered research institutions. The USDA receives its authority through federal law (Code of Federal Regulations, Title 7 and 9). Veterinary Medical Officers enforcing the 7 and 9 CFRs inspect research organizations at least annually.

Other Funding Sources:

Specific funding sources, such as the Department of Defense, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, and foundations, may require additional rules and regulations. Institutions receiving money from these organizations are responsible for following any other requirements for the humane care and treatment of any vertebrate animal used in field or laboratory research and educational training.

  • LIU’S PHS Animal Welfare Assurance Number: D18-01030
  • LIU’S USDA Animal Research Facility Registration Number: 21-R-0058

IV. Committee Composition

By federal law, the IACUC must be composed of, at a minimum, five members with the following qualifications:
  1. An IACUC Chairperson
  2. A doctor of veterinary medicine
  3. An individual not affiliated with the institution, representing the community
  4. A practicing scientist experienced in animal research
  5. A member whose primary concerns are nonscientific

V. Medical Clearance for Working with Animals

All individuals working with animals in the animal facility must receive medical clearance through CastleBranch. To obtain medical clearance, individuals must complete the confidential form below, which includes a self-evaluation and a certification by the individual’s healthcare provider. Once uploaded to and approved by CastleBranch, individuals will be cleared to work with animals.

Uploading Instructions for Medical Clearance Forms:

**Faculty must be added to the CastleBranch system before they can upload their completed medical forms. Contact Dr. Lacey Sischo to get added to the system (lacey.sischo@liu.edu or 516-299-3591).

VI. CITI Training

All Long Island University faculty, staff, and students working with animals are required to have appropriate training (including continuing education every three years) in animal care and use. This training should be completed through the Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI) at www.citiprogram.org.
CITI courses are designed to meet the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare (OLAW) requirements for basic training in the humane care and use of animals. A minimum of four courses are required:
  1. All Learner Groups - Responsible Conduct of Research
  2. OSHA Personal Protective Equipment
  3. Researchers - Working with the IACUC OR Students Working with Animals - Working with the IACUC
  4. Specific course(s) related to the species you are working with (e.g., Working with Mice in Research)

Animal Care and Use Research team members not affiliated with LIU:

Team members not covered by another institution’s IACUC are required to complete LIU’s training. They may access the training by creating an account with CITI at www.citiprogram.org and have to select “Long Island University” as their affiliated institution when creating their institution profile. You do not need an LIU e-mail account to create an institution profile.

Other Important Information:

Various optional modules are not included in the required courses above (e.g., courses in biosafety,). Faculty researchers may require their students and others on the research team to complete the appropriate optional modules if a particular research protocol involves these topics. The Human Subject Institutional Review Board (IRB) committee or the Institutional Animal Care and Use committee (IACUC) will notify researchers of these additional requirements on a case-by-case basis. 

A minimum passing score of 80 percent is required to meet the training requirement. The basic course may require 1-2 hours to complete depending on the curriculum selected. You do not have to complete the courses in one sitting and may use multiple logon sessions to complete the modules. You will need to keep a record of your login information to return to the course site.

The Refresher Course: CITI training must be renewed every three years and updated training is required before new applications, amendments, continuing reviews, or requests to add research team members are approved by the IACUC. The CITI program will send an automatic e-mail reminder at least 60 days before your training expires.

Getting Started:

Go to www.citiprogram.org. Click the "Register" button located on CITI's home page to create an account and select “Long Island University – Post” OR “Long Island University – Brooklyn” as the affiliated institution when creating your profile. There is no fee for the courses if you are affiliated with LIU.
Steps to add a course:

     Step 1: After setting up the account, the Main Menu page should display.

     Step 2: Click "Add a Course" under the heading My Learner Tools for Long Island University.

     Step 3: Under Question 2, Responsible Conduct of Research, Select “All Learner Groups - Responsible Conduct of Research” course

     Step 4: Under Question 4, Laboratory Animal Research, Select the learner group based on your role working with animals (either “Researchers—Working with the IACUC” OR “Students Working with Animals—Working with the IACUC”).

     Step 5: Under Question 4, Laboratory Animal Research, Select species-specific course(s).

     Step 6: Under Question 7, Biosafety/Biosecurity, Select "OSHA Personal Protective Equipment"

     Step 7: Select any other optional courses you would like to take (e.g., Good Clinical Practices Course, Information Privacy Security Course). Note: anyone with outside funding will also need to take the All Groups Conflict of Interest course.

     Step 8: Click “Submit.”

     Step 9: The Main Menu page will reappear, click the course title to access the modules.

Any technical questions or problems, please contact support@citiprogram.org. Other questions, please contact the IACUC Administrator at 516-299-3591.