Grants and Research

Research Ethics and Compliance: IACUC


UW-River Falls Policy on Animal Care and Use

The purpose of this policy is to ensure the ethical and humane treatment of all animals used in teaching, demonstration, and research at UW-River Falls, and to ensure our compliance with local, state, and federal regulations. The UW-River Falls Animal Care Committee, which functions as our Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC), is responsible for creating, modifying, and implementing this policy.

A. All university activities involving the use of animals in teaching, research, and demonstration must be reviewed by the Animal Care Committee.

Any of the following conditions require a research protocol.

  1. All faculty or student research projects involving the use of animals.
    Where research is being performed using animals, a research protocol form must be submitted to and approved by the committee at least one month before the research is to take place. If the research is to be part of an externally funded activity, the protocol must be approved before the grant is accepted by the university. For continuing research, a protocol must be submitted every year or whenever the practice is modified.
  2. Any manipulations of animals in the wild, or of captured wild animals.
  3. Any surgical manipulation other than those exempted as standard husbandry practices (see B below).
  4. Any practices used in teaching or demonstration which deviate from normal, standard practices in care, handling and husbandry of laboratory and farm animals. (see B below)
  5. All euthanasia practices and methods of tissue disposal.

MS Word research protocol form, which you may fill out onscreen, print, sign, and submit.

B. Exempt activities

The committee recognizes that many of the animal care practices at UW-River Falls, especially those in use at the laboratory farms, constitute routine animal care. The committee therefore acknowledges the following animal management and care practices as acceptable, and exempts faculty and staff from further committee review.

  1. Standard feeding and rations practices performed in accordance to the National Research Council guidelines for the species as a part of routine husbandry.
  2. Standard animal handling restraint practices and training aids, as illustrated in the US Department of Health and Human Services Guide for Care and Use of Laboratory Animals and the U.S. Department of Agriculture Guide for the Care and Use of Agricultural Animals in Agricultural Research and Teaching, March 1988.
  3. Standard laboratory and farm animal husbandry practices including ear notching, surgical castration, tail docking, needle teeth removal, supernumary teat removal, etc. if performed prior to weaning; dehorning if performed at less than 9 months of age; freeze branding if performed at less than 2 years of age; and toe trimming.
  4. Standard practices of preventative medicine as a part of routine husbandry including vaccination, anti-parasiticide application, and antibiotic application practiced in accordance to manufacturer's direction. Records of administration must be kept and available to the consulting veterinarian.
  5. Standardized practices of blood collection, growth stimulant implantation, horse shoeing and diet change for laboratory and farm animals.

The consulting veterinarian to the Animal Care Committee shall inspect all UW-River Falls animal care and handling facilities once per month to monitor these practices and verify that animals are being treated humanely. They will report their findings to the Animal Care Committee.

Animal handling or care practices which deviate from these, be they for research, teaching, or demonstration, require the submission of a protocol.

C. The following procedures require no review by the committee:

  1. Surgical and non-surgical procedures as a part of care and husbandry carried out by a licensed veterinarian. Procedures that are a part of the research protocol are not exempt even if performed by a licensed veterinarian.
  2. Demonstrations, competitions, and exhibits of animals brought to campus for less than two weeks.

However, no one - veterinarians, faculty, staff, students or visitors - is exempt from providing animals with humane care while on the UW-River Falls campus.

D. Training and testing animal care workers:

All faculty, staff and students, using animals in the classroom, laboratory or in the workplace, must be trained in the appropriate handling and care techniques to insure the humane treatment of the animal and the safety of both the animals and humans involved.

Most faculty and staff who routinely utilize animals are trained in these techniques and may only need to update themselves periodically on Animal Care regulations. However, these same faculty and staff are obligated to instruct new staff and students in the proper technique in proportion to their involvement with animals. Extensive involvement means extensive training - slight involvement, less extensive training. The lead person, staff or faculty, will provide a statement that training has occurred.

A self-study and self-testing program concerning the ethical and humane care of animals is available. All those individuals regularly involved in animal handling, care, experimentation, and demonstration are encouraged to complete this program prior to participation in work, demonstration, animal care or experimentation.

The test program is to be administrated by the lead faculty member for the unit or research project. Retesting will occur at three year intervals. The UW-RF Grants Office will provide the guides for the test.

E. Euthanasia and tissue disposal

Each protocol must specify the method of euthanasia which will be used if animals must be euthanized. Acceptable methods include:

  • Cervical dislocation for poultry and birds.
  • Cervical dislocation for rodents when administered by trained personnel and justified in protocol.
  • Administration of sodium pentobarbitol, e.g. Buesthanasia, Euthasol, etc.
  • Carbon dioxide.
  • Electrocution.
  • Captive bolt.
  • Gunshot.

Each protocol must specify how dead animals and animal tissues will be disposed of. Acceptable methods include:

  • Contributing remains to Raptor Center (rodents).
  • Collecting through campus garbage (non-diseased animals only).
  • Rendering plant.
  • Composting (for small animals, e.g. lambs and sheep, piglets, rats, chickens, etc.).

UW-River Falls Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee members:

  • Larry Baumann, Animal and Food Science
  • Kurt Vogel, Animal and Food Science, chair
  • Bonnie Walters, Animal and Food Science
  • James Cortright, Psychology
  • Greg Zwald, Lab Farms
  • Joseph Gathman, Biology
  • Dick Jones-Witthuhn, DVM, Consulting Veterinarian, Kinnicroix and Riverfalls Veterinary Clinic, River Falls, WI 54022
  • Molly Van Wagner, Director of Grants & Research, (ex officio, non-voting)

Contact Us

Grants and Research
Molly Van Wagner
101 North Hall