I was never told that I needed IACUC approval to use animals! Surprisingly, some researchers still claim ignorance about animal welfare requirements. To a certain extent this is understandable given the multitude of regulations and guidelines that need to be followed. However, ignorance or misunderstanding of the requirements is no excuse for failing to comply. This, in part, is why a formal training program is now a federally mandated requirement for individuals using animals in research, teaching and testing.
I disagree with some of the current requirements and want to do something about it. Who do I talk to? You are welcome to submit questions, comments and recommendations about the UAF Animal Care Program to any member of the UAF Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) or to the Institutional Office (currently Mark Myers, Vice Chancellor for Research). However, keep in mind that we are working to ensure that UAF stays in compliance with laws, regulations, and guidelines set by State and Federal legislatures, agencies, and professional societies. Please remember that no one at UAF sets the requirements; rather we create policy and procedures for how UAF will comply with the them. Whether you are conducting laboratory based experiments or field research, you can influence animal welfare requirements more by getting involved in your professional society and providing constructive comments to the appropriate regulatory offices. For most university research that would be the Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare, National Institutes of Health for issues related to Public Health Service Policy on the care and use of vertebrate animals or to the Animal Care Office, Animal & Plant Health Inspection Service, US Department of Agriculture, regarding the Animal Welfare Act.