IACUC or Facility review of SOPs?

The February issue of Lab Animal (V41, No.2, p. 41-43) poses the question of whether an Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) has the authority to modify or approve animal facility SOPs.  The IACUC is charged by federal mandate to ensure husbandry and care of laboratory animals as defined by the Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals (the Guide), the Animal Welfare Act, and the Health Research Extension Act of 1985.  These regulations do not explicitly state that all SOPs relating to animal care be approved by the IACUC.  Multiple responses to this question can be viewed in the issue.  The Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare (OLAW) and the United States Department of Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, Animal Care (USDA/APHIS/AC) comment that although not explictly stated that the IACUC has responsibility for SOP review, that since the IACUC oversees animal care, SOPs define what that care should include.  As part of USDA mandated semi-annual inspections, the 8th edition of the Guide clearly implies that the IACUC is responsible for SOPs, and keep them up to date.

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