Stephen F. Austin State University

Policies, Rules & Regulations


Stephen F. Austin State University follows the guidelines set forth by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Animal Welfare Act (Eighth Edition), which is enforced by USDA, to protect certain animals from inhumane treatment and neglect. The regulations are followed with respect to the animals utilized by SFA, which include: agricultural animals, horses, fish, amphibians, and wildlife (birds, mammals, etc.).

Institutional Policy

The Stephen F. Austin State University Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) is responsible for the review of research and teaching activities that involve vertebrate animals. This review process ensures that all university activities comply with government regulations set forth by the United States Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare (OLAW) and by the United States Department of Agriculture-Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA-APHIS) under the Animal Welfare Act (AWA).

The IACUC will consist of a minimum of five (5) members, including: at least one faculty member representing an academic department utilizing vertebrate animals for research, testing, or training; one member from a department that does not utilize animals in research; one doctor of veterinary medicine; and one member of the community not associated with the university. The committee will meet at least twice per year and on an as-needed basis to review faculty research proposals that involve vertebrate animals and complete any additional tasks required by law.

The IACUC will establish and publish the processes that must be followed when vertebrate animals are to be used in research. The Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs will serve as the Institutional Official (IO). The IACUC reports to the IO, who possesses administrative and operational authority to ensure compliance with relevant policies from OLAW and the AWA.

No activities involving vertebrate animals can be carried out without approval from the IACUC. This includes activities that may be considered exempt activities and/or exempt animals.

This policy applies to all activities, teaching and research, that involve vertebrate animals that are: sponsored by the university; conducted by university faculty, staff, visitors, or students; and conducted using property and/or facilities owned by the university.

Failure to comply with applicable federal policies related to animal care and use may result in civil and/or criminal penalties, and may also result in loss of federal funding to the university.

C.F.R. § 2.31; Animal Welfare Act, 7 U.S.C. 2131 et. seq.; Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare, Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals, 8th edition; Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare, Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee Guidebook, 2nd edition; ORSP Grants and Contracts Procedures Manual; SFASU IACUC Policies and Procedures Manual.

HOP Policy 02-410

Full Committee Review (FCR)

Full committee review of protocols requires a convened meeting of a quorum of the IACUC members. The PHS Policy and AWRs are explicit that proposals reviewed by the full committee must receive the approval vote of a majority of the quorum present in order to receive approval.

The Committee has the authority to approve, require modifications in (to secure approval), disapprove, or table (defer until future meeting) any proposed activity. In many cases, the Committee finds the protocols approvable on certain conditions and votes to allow the protocol to be reviewed, and approved, using the Designated Member Review (DMR) process.

Designated Member Review (DMR)

Designated member review requires that each IACUC member must be provided with a copy of the protocol document from the IACUC Chair. Committee members are given at minimum five (5) business days to review the protocol document and respond either allowing the DMR to review the protocol or to hold the protocol for the next FCR. If any one member votes to hold the protocol until the next IACUC meeting, then the protocol is placed on the agenda for the next IACUC meeting. Otherwise, the protocol is reviewed by the DMR.

The IACUC Chair designates one or more qualified members to review the proposal (or proposed amendment or annual renewal). These designated member(s) have authority to approve, require modifications in (to secure approval), or request full committee review. A designated reviewer may not withhold approval; this action may only be taken if the review is conducted using the full committee method of review.

Administrative Review (AR)

While Federal regulations allow for two types of review of animal use protocols (FCR and DMR), recent guidance from the Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare (OLAW) granted authority for a small number of items to be administratively approved. Amendment/modification applications to existing protocols that involve certain changes not considered significant can be reviewed (and approved) administratively.

Notification of Review Outcome

The IACUC Chair will notify investigators of the IACUC's decision to approve or withhold approval of those activities related to the care and use of animals, or of modifications required to secure IACUC approval as set forth in the PHS Policy IV.C.4.