Scope of IACUC Review

The following kinds of activities involving animals must be reviewed by the IACUC before they may be conducted:

  • Activities conducted by DMACC faculty, staff, or students;
  • Activities performed on the premises of the DMACC campuses;
  • Activities performed with or involving the use of facilities or equipment belonging to the college;
  • Activities satisfying a requirement imposed by DMACC for a degree program or completion of a course of study.

Basic Criteria of IACUC Review

The IACUC's overall task is to determine whether a project's societal benefit justifies any animal pain and suffering that it might cause, and whether whatever animal pain or suffering occurs will be kept to a minimum.

All proposed activities are reviewed to ensure that the following requirements for IACUC approval are met:

  • All activities involving animals are in accord with the Animal Welfare Act, DMACC and IACUC policy.
  • A clear rationale is provided for involving animals and for the appropriateness of the species and numbers of animals to be used;
  • Animal living conditions must be consistent with standards of housing, feeding, and care as directed by a veterinarian with appropriate expertise. Medical care must be provided by a qualified veterinarian. Investigators are responsible for arranging suitable housing pursuant to the regulations;
  • The investigator has considered alternatives to procedures that may cause more than momentary or slight pain or distress to the animal and has provided a written narrative description of the methods and sources used to determine that alternatives are not available;
  • The application includes a complete description of the proposed use of the animals and procedures designed to assure that discomfort and pain will be limited to that which is unavoidable for the conduct of scientifically valuable research, including provision for the use of analgesic, anesthetic, and tranquilizing drugs where indicated and appropriate to minimize discomfort and pain;
  • The investigator has planned for the appropriate monitoring of animals, reasonable surgical interventions, and the responsible euthanasia of those animals consistent with AVMA recommendations under specified conditions;
  • All personnel are appropriately trained and qualified to conduct the research or teaching.

The assessment also includes any additional factors important in the context of the specific proposal to ensure compliance with all applicable federal regulations and IACUC and institutional policies.

What are the definitions and classification for animal pain or distress?

Potential Pain/Distress: Procedures are classified according to the level of potential pain or distress that the animal may experience. If more than slight or momentary pain and distress (pain class C) could be caused by the procedure, then relief must be provided (pain class D). If relief cannot be provided (pain class E), there must be scientific justification for withholding of relief, the justification must be included in the animal use protocol, and must be approved by the IACUC. Additional information can be found in USDA Animal Care Resource Guide, Policy #11, Painful Procedures.

USDA Pain Codes

C - No Pain or Distress
D - Pain or Distress with Relief
E - Pain or Distress Without Relief

Protocol Review Form-Special Events: This form should be used when the event involves no more than handling and restraint of the animals. Activities beyond handling and restraint should be submitted on a Teaching form.

PDF - Protocol Review Form-TeachingProtocol Review Form-Teaching: IACUC approval for the use of live vertebrate animals must be obtained prior to the use of these animals in a scheduled course or continuing education offering. Also use this form for special events involving procedures beyond handling and restraint.

If a person has a concern, complaint, or inquiry regarding an observed animal welfare issue they should first try to contact the attending veterinarian, Dr. Amy Fertig at, a faculty or staff member, or the IACUC chair, Dee Dee Schumacher at if they feel comfortable in doing so to resolve their concern/complaint.  IF the individual is uncomfortable or unsatisfied with this initial contact suggestion they can then file a concern/complaint and submit it to any DMACC IACUC member.  Reporting individuals can choose to remain anonymous throughout the inquiry procedure.  However, it is necessary that inquiries have specific and detailed information in order for a review by the IACUC.  Required information includes: dates, times, individuals involved, animal species/names/USDA numbers, witnesses, and a complete description of the event/incident.