The Animal Research Protection Office oversees the University's animal programs, facilities, and procedures insuring the appropriate care, use, and humane treatments of animals being used for research, testing and education.
We serve as a resource to faculty, investigators, technicians, students, staff, and administrators, providing guidance in fulfilling the obligation to plan and conduct all animal use procedures with the highest scientific, humane, and ethical principles.
The University of Pittsburgh is an AAALAC-accredited institution.
AAALAC International is a private, nonprofit organization that promotes the humane treatment of animals in science through voluntary accreditation and assessment programs. Learn more by visiting the AAALAC International website.
The University of Pittsburgh Animal Care and Use Program is accredited by AAALAC International. The University initially received accreditation for portions of its Animal Care and Use Program on February 22, 1983. The University has maintained continuous AAALAC accreditation ever since. This accreditation demonstrates the University’s commitment to responsible animal care and use.
Animal Welfare Assurance
- The most recent version of the University of Pittsburgh’s Animal Welfare Assurance, number D16-00118 (A3187-01), was reviewed and approved by the Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare and became effective on April 27, 2020. The Assurance will expire on May 31, 2024.
- The University of Pittsburgh is registered with the United States Department of Agriculture as a Class R Research Facility under the Animal Welfare Act (7 U.S.C. 2131 et seq.). The University’s registration certificate number is 23-R-0016. The registration will expire on August 4, 2023.
The Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee
The University of Pittsburgh Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) oversees the University's animal programs, facilities and procedures ensuring the appropriate care, use, and humane treatments of animals being used for research, testing and education. The IACUC serves as a resource to faculty, investigators, technicians, students, staff, and administrators, providing guidance in fulfilling the obligation to plan and conduct all animal use procedures with the highest scientific, humane, and ethical principles.
As an agent of the University of Pittsburgh, the IACUC shall:
- Review, at least once every six months, the University's program for humane care and use of animals, using the Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals (Guide), NRC 2011, as a basis for evaluation.
- Inspect, at least once every six months, all of the university's animal facilities (including satellite facilities and investigator-managed housing facilities and use-sites) using the Guide as a basis for evaluation.
- Prepare reports of the IACUC evaluations conducted as required by regulation and submit these reports to the Institutional Official. The reports are updated at least once every six months upon completion of the required semiannual evaluations. Such reports contain a description of the nature and extent of adherence to, and also identify and explain departures from, the Guide and NIH/USDA Policy. The reports distinguish significant deficiencies from minor deficiencies. A significant deficiency being one which, consistent with NIH/USDA Policy, and, in the judgment of the IACUC and the Institutional Official, is or may be a threat to the health or safety of the animals. If program or facility deficiencies are noted, the reports must contain a reasonable and specific plan and schedule for correcting each deficiency. Since the University of Pittsburgh is accredited by AAALAC, this will be reflected in the report. The reports are signed by a majority of the IACUC members and minority opinions are included.
- Review concerns involving the care and use of animals at the university.
- Make recommendations to the Institutional Official regarding any aspect of the university's animal program, facilities, or personnel training.
- Review and approve, require modifications in (to secure approval), or withhold approval of activities related to the care and use of animals.
- Review and approve, require modifications in (to secure approval), or withhold approval of proposed significant changes regarding the use of animals in ongoing activities.
- Be authorized to suspend an activity involving animals. If the IACUC suspends an activity involving animals, the Institutional Official, in consultation with the IACUC, will review the reasons for suspension, take appropriate corrective actions, and report that action to the NIH Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare (OLAW).
- Ensure that all personnel involved with animal care, treatment or use are provided with training on humane practice and the concept, availability and use of research, teaching, or testing methods that replace, reduce, or refine the use of animals or animal distress.
- Ensure that all personnel involved with animal care, treatment or use are provided with training on occupational health and safety programs, their implementation and function in promoting employee well-being.