Animal Use

OverviewBack to Top

The College of Agricultural and Life Sciences received continued AAALAC (Association for Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care) accreditation for its animal care program and facilities in February 2013. Our pursuit of this accreditation demonstrates our commitment to humane and ethical treatment of research animals. Re-accreditation site visit will in the fall of 2015.

GuidelinesBack to Top

The Animal Welfare Act mandates humane and ethical treatment of animals used in teaching and research, therefore, requirements for conducting animal research are extensive.

Research Animal Resources Center (RARC)

At UW-Madison, the Research Animal Resources Center (RARC) provides oversight and assistance in assuring compliance with all laws, regulations, and rules governing the care and use of laboratory animals.

Investigator Requirements

In order to ensure that animals are properly housed and cared for, RARC requires that investigator’s who wish to use live vertebrate animals in a project:

  • Submit an Animal Protocol for review by the CALS Animal Care and Use Committee
  • Ensure that lab personnel complete appropriate Training
  • Report adverse animal health or unexpected research outcomes to their Program Veterinarian immediately

Submitting ProtocolsBack to Top

An Animal Protocol is a concise description of an animal research project. It is also contractual agreement between the Principal Investigator and the Animal Care and Use Committee that ensures that animals receive the highest standard of care.

Protocol Guidance/Forms

  • Forms and instructions are available from the RARC website: RARC Protocol Forms
  • Submit protocols to Diane Johnson, 265-3989
  • Protocols must be submitted by 4:00 pm on the 1st of the month for consideration during that month.
  • Protocols are approved for a maximum of 3 years, and must be reviewed annually. Protocols for longer projects have a de novo review every 3 years.
  • For additional information, visit the RARC Animal Protocol FAQ page.

Protocol Amendments

In certain situations, a protocol may need to be changed during the course of a project. There are two types of changes, or amendments, to protocols:

  • Administrative Amendments are needed when funding sources or lab personnel change.
  • Scientific Amendments are needed when the scope of work changes. Examples include changing or adding experimental procedures, changing drugs or dosages, increasing the number of animals, adding a new species of animal, etc. These amendments must be approved by the CALS Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee before beginning the new work.

When an amendment is needed, follow the instructions included on the RARC website:
RARC Fact Sheets: How to Change an Existing Protocol.

TrainingBack to Top

Animal user training is provided through RARC. Visit the RARC Training Program website for additional information and assistance regarding training.

Training Required for All Animal Users

All lab personnel who handle live research animals (including the Investigator, animal care staff, research staff, and visiting guests) must complete the following RARC training courses before working with animals:

These courses are completed online, and are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. A valid UW-Madison NetID is needed in order to access the courses.

Additional Training for Certain Personnel

Depending on the scope of the project, additional RARC courses, such as Lab Animal Surgery or species-specific training, may also be required. Once an Animal Protocol is approved, lab personnel and their PI’s are notified via email of additional training requirements.

ResourcesBack to Top

UW-Madison Campus Resources
All Campus Animal Car and Use Policies Complete list of animal policies that apply to all UW-Madison Schools/Colleges
RARC Animal Protocol FAQ Guidelines for completing and submitting an Animal Protocol
RARC Forms Collection of all RARC forms, including protocol and Wildlife Waiver forms.
RARC Training Program Course info and registration; access to online courses.
UW-Madison Animal Care and Use Committees Info on structure/function of UW-Madison’s Animal Care and Use Committees
UW-Madison Program Veterinarian Contacts List of Lab Animal Veterinarians, by program
UW-Madison Researcher’s Guide to Animal Care & Use Complete guide to animal use practices and protocols.
External Resources
American Association for Laboratory Animal Sciences (AALAS) Professional organization for researchers and technicians involved in laboratory animal science.
AVMA Guidelines on Euthanasia American Verterinary Medical Association (AVMA) standards for animal euthanasia.
Animal Welfare Act Full text of the act, legislative history and quick reference guides
FASS Guide for the Care and Use of Agricultural Animals in Agricultural Research and Teaching, 3rd ed. Primary reference for meeting the needs of agricultural animals utilized in research and teaching, publishd by the Federation of Animal Science Societies
Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) Resource Site Information resource for members and staff of institutional animal care and use committees.
ILAR Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals, 8th ed. Guide published by the Institute for Laboratory Animal Research (ILAR) and adopted by OLAW and AAALAC
OLAW Public Health Service Policy on Humane Care and Use of Laboratory Animals
NIH Vertebrate Animal Section (VAS) Fact Sheet Quick reference guide/checklist for completing an NIH Vertebrate Animal Section (VAS), from OLAW
NIH Vertebrate Animal Section (VAS) Instructions Complete instructions for completing the Vertebrate Animal Section (VAS) of an NIH grant proposal

ContactsBack to Top

General Compliance Questions

Cheryl Deering
CALS Research Compliance Specialist
(608) 262-2536

Protocol Submission

Diane Johnson
(608) 265-3989

Lab Animal Veterinarians

See list of veterinary contacts by program


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