Understanding IACUC Oversight

Mission and Vision

The mission of the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) is to ensure the humane care and use of animals in research, teaching, and testing, and to ensure compliance with guidelines and regulations.

IACUC’s vision is to ensure the humane care and use of animals while interpreting the regulations in a practical, meaningful, and reasonable manner that facilitates valuable research, teaching, and testing.


The Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) must approve any activities that involve the use of live vertebrate animals. Specific examples of such activities and/or uses are

  • research, including field studies and clinical trials;
  • use of blood donor animals;
  • breeding colonies;
  • scheduled courses;
  • continuing education offerings.

Faculty are expected to obtain IACUC approval for these activities regardless of where the animals are maintained and/or the project is carried out. However, if a project is to be done at a site or in cooperation with an institution that has its own Animal Care and Use Committee, a copy of that committee’s approved form may be submitted to the IACUC.

IACUC approval is not required when all procedures are being carried out on tissues obtained from a slaughterhouse or from animals euthanized for another purpose. If, however, animals are procured and euthanized/slaughtered to obtain tissues for a particular project, that project must be approved by the IACUC.


The Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) comprises one part of Iowa State University’s overarching Animal Care and Use Program. The IACUC works closely with its program partners and the Institutional Official to assure that all components of the program are appropriately administered.