IACUC Frequently Asked Questions

Animal Experiments and Research

I do experiments (or demonstrations) using Drosophila fruit flies or Planaria worms; does this need to be reviewed by the IACUC?

No, only those experiments using live vertebrate animals need to be reviewed by the IACUC.

Does the use of preserved specimens have to be reviewed by the IACUC?

No, dissections or experiments using non-living materials are considered exempt. IACUC does need copies of any permits you have obtained in order to work with the specimens.

I only use animals as demonstrations in the classroom; does this need to be reviewed by the IACUC?

Yes, Arcadia University’s Federal Animal Welfare Assurance filed with the Federal government covers the use of live vertebrate animals in research, testing, and teaching.

I am doing classic experiments or demonstrations that have been used in my field for many years; why do I need to go to the IACUC?

Arcadia University’s policy requires that the use of all live vertebrate animals in research and teaching be subject to review. Under some circumstances, these classic demonstrations are eligible for designated review but an animal use protocol must still be filed with the IACUC.

I conduct observational studies on vertebrate animals at the Philadelphia Zoo (or another zoo or in the field); does this need to be reviewed by the IACUC?

Most observational studies are considered exempt from review by Arcadia University’s IACUC. If you manipulate the animals (change the items in their enclosure; collect tissues, handle the animals, etc) you need to submit a full protocol and must have approval of the IACUC before you begin. Some locations, such as the Norristown Zoo, require that your project be reviewed by their IACUC. You are responsible for determining the requirements of the outside site.

I only work with rats (or snakes or frogs), do I need to have approval by the IACUC?

Yes, Arcadia University’s Federal Animal Welfare Assurance filed with the Federal government covers all vertebrate animals.

Research Process

I was approved last year; do I have to obtain IACUC approval for this year?

Yes, animal protocols can be approved for up to three years. However, the protocols must be reviewed at least yearly. A short annual progress report must be reviewed and approved by the IACUC prior to the start of the second and third year. Every three years the protocol must receive a full de novo review.

I care about my animals, why do I need to have my work approved by the IACUC?

Federal Regulations and Arcadia University Policies require that the IACUC have the responsibility of enforced self-regulation to ensure that the policies and procedures of responsible animal care and use are followed.

I know what I am doing and have been using animals in my teaching (or research) for years, why do I need to complete the training?

Federal Regulations and Arcadia University Policies require that all personnel (faculty, staff, and students) involved in animal care and use are appropriately qualified to perform their duties and conduct proposed activities. This means that everyone using animals must complete Animal Care and Use Training provided in the "Lab Animal Welfare" modules on the CITI training site prior to receiving approval to be involved in the research, testing, or teaching activity.

Doesn’t the IACUC oversight into my use of animals in the classroom infringes on my academic freedom?

No, Arcadia University recognizes a special interest in promoting research and a special responsibility to see that the rights of academic freedom traditionally accorded researchers not be abridged. In meeting these expectations, the IACUC will work with individuals to ensure that care and use of animals satisfies the individual’s pedagogical goals while still meeting the standards of our policies.

I don’t agree with these policies and feel that they should not apply to me, what is the worst thing that can happen?

Documented instances of a violation of the Arcadia University Animal Care and Use Guidelines could result in the loss or disruption of Federal funds to the institution. In addition, the IACUC has the power to suspend or terminate previously approved protocols if warranted. In an extreme case, violation of Arcadia University’s Scientific Misconduct Policies, violation of the ethical standards advocated by an individual’s professional societies, or a violation of the professional standards of conduct expected of all Arcadia University Faculty and Staff will subject that individual to sanctions advocated by these groups.