Animal Care and Use

USU is committed to the welfare of animals in its care, reducing pain and distress throughout the process. We adhere to the highest standards, federal law, and regulatory guidelines. All faculty, staff, students, and cooperators using USU facilities are required to follow federal standards and university policy in the use of animals in research, teaching and training. The validity and effectiveness of programs that use animals is greatest when animals receive high-quality care in a properly designed and managed animal facility.

Mistreating animals in the university’s care violates USU policy and standards of ethical care. If you have concerns regarding the use or care of animals associated with USU research, please report it immediately. USU policy (407.7.5) protects employees and students who report animal welfare concerns, but you may also report anonymously. The Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee investigates all reports of animal misuse.

Proper Care Leads to Better Research

The goal of biomedical research is to translate discoveries and observations in clinics and labs into new therapies that can help save lives and improve the health of both people and animals. Animals have served a vital role as surrogates in the investigation of diseases and have yielded valuable data in the process of discovering new ways to treat, cure, and prevent them.

Virtually every major medical advance of the last century would not have been possible without the availability of animal models. From immunizations to cancer therapy, our ability to manage the health of animals has also improved because of animal research and the application of medical breakthroughs in veterinary medicine.

Researchers at Utah State have developed and tested treatments for many diseases, including influenza and COVID-19. At USU we are committed to conducting high-quality and ethically-guided research. All research involving animals at USU has been reviewed by the USU Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee to help and ensure animal research is done in compliance with all appropriate laws and regulations and in alignment with the highest ethical standards of research.

USU also meets the voluntary standards of AAALAC, in which research programs demonstrate that they exceed the minimum standards required by law, and strives for excellence in the care of research animals.

Regulatory Oversight

Animal research in the U.S. is highly regulated and subject to oversight by the federal government. USU’s animal research meets or exceeds minimum standards established for laboratory animals.

Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee

University policy (585) requires that all research, teaching, or outreach using animals and conducted by university personnel and under the auspices of USU, must be reviewed and approved by the university IACUC prior to animal use. This includes cooperative research conducted with one or more public or private entities.

Role of the IACUC

The establishment and operation of the IACUC is mandated by federal law. The USU IACUC is appointed by the vice president of USU Research, acting as the institutional official. The USU IACUC is charged with the responsibility of ensuring that the use of live vertebrate animals at USU is done in compliance with all appropriate laws, regulations, and government policies. To meet this charge the committee has the authority to review, require modifications to, and ultimately to approve or deny requests to use animals in teaching or research. The committee also regularly reviews the university animal care program and inspects university facilities where animals are housed and used. Learn more about the IACUC membership.