Responsible and Ethical Conduct of Research

Animal Care and Use

Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC)

The Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare (OLAW) is part of the federal National Institutes of Health. OLAW has responsibility for the general administration and coordination of the Public Health Service (PHS) policy on humane care and use of laboratory animals. The policy defines how researchers ensure the humane treatment of animals through consultation with the university IACUC.

Contact the Dean of Graduate Studies & Research if you observe (or suspect) the mistreatment of research or instructional animals at or (831) 582-3878.


The IACUC is responsible for oversight of animal research as described in the policy on humane care and use of laboratory animals (Policy) and the Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals (Guide). 

IACUC responsibilities include:

  • Review, at least semiannually, the institution's program for the humane care and use of animals;
  • Inspect, at least semiannually, the institution's animal facilities (including satellite facilities);
  • Prepare reports to the Institutional Official (IO) of the IACUC evaluations;
  • Review animal welfare concerns;
  • Make recommendations to the IO on any aspect of the animal program, facilities, or personnel training;
  • Review and approve, those components of PHS conducted or supported activities related to the care and use of animals;
  • Review and approve, proposed significant changes to the use of animals in ongoing activities; and
  • Be authorized to suspend an activity involving animals.


The IACUC membership must consist of at least 5 members and includes:

  • one veterinarian with training or experience in laboratory animal science and medicine, who has direct or delegated authority and responsibility for activities involving animals at the institution;
  • one practicing scientist experienced in research with animals;
  • one member whose primary concerns are in a nonscientific area (e.g., ethicist, lawyer, member of the clergy); and
  • one member who is not affiliated with the institution other than as a member of the IACUC.