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ILAR J. 2007;48(2):131-42.

Training strategies for IACUC members and the institutional official.

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  • 1Michigan State University, IACUC Office A620 E Fee Hall, East Lansing, MI 48824, USA.


Institutions are required by federal laws and regulations to oversee and evaluate their programs, facilities, and procedures for using animals in research, teaching, and/or testing activities. These responsibilities are specifically charged to an institutional official (IO) and an institutional animal care and use committee (IACUC). Initially, the individuals tasked with these responsibilities seldom have the requisite knowledge or experience to fulfill their charges effectively. Furthermore, simply reading the regulatory requirements does not prepare the novice IO and IACUC members to effectively monitor and guide the program. As a result, many new IOs and IACUC members are managing their responsibilities with insufficient understanding of the laws, regulations, standards, and policies. Specific training strategies for inexperienced IACUC members are needed to help them understand their responsibilities for ensuring animal welfare through an effective, high-quality, and compliant animal care and use program that supports the critical research needed to improve human and animal health. Likewise, most IOs would benefit from training to help them better understand their responsibility for enhancing or maintaining the quality of the institution's animal care and use program. Education and training should begin with an orientation to the laws, regulations, standards, and policies. Continuing training and education are also important to keep abreast of the changes in the interpretation of these laws and regulations as well as the changes in veterinary science. For both the IO and the IACUC, understanding and acceptance of their authority and responsibilities are significant factors in establishing and maintaining a quality animal care and use program.

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