The University of Mississippi is licensed as an animal research facility by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and has an Animal Welfare Assurance on file with the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare (OLAW). The University of Mississippi animal care and use program is accredited by the Association for Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care International (AAALAC).
The Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) serves to assure the humane care and use of animals utilized for instructional, demonstration, or research purposes at the university. This committee, appointed by the Chancellor, is responsible for institutional compliance with the Public Health Service Policy on Humane Care and Use of Laboratory Animals mandated by the NIH OLAW, the Animal Welfare Act of the USDA, and all other applicable laws and regulations. The Animal Welfare Assurance outlines the university’s compliance with these guidelines, requiring that all animal use must receive prior approval from the IACUC.
Overall program authority and responsibility to implement animal care and use policy and recommendations are vested in the Vice Chancellor for Research and Sponsored Programs, the Institutional Official to whom the IACUC reports. The ORSP Director of Research Integrity and Compliance also reports to the Vice Chancellor and is responsible for ensuring compliance with all regulations, laws, and policies. The Attending Veterinarian has the authority and responsibility to implement policy and recommendations, has immediate access to the Vice Chancellor, and reports to the Director of Research Integrity and Compliance. IACUC functions are facilitated through the Division of Research Integrity and Compliance (DRIC) staff.
The IACUC is responsible for oversight and evaluation of the animal care and use program and its components. Committee functions include inspection of facilities; evaluation of programs and animal-activity areas; submission of reports to responsible institutional officials; review of proposed uses of animals in research, testing, or education (i.e., protocols); and establishment of a mechanism for receipt and review of concerns involving the care and use of animals at The University of Mississippi. All programs and facilities (including satellite facilities) involving animals are evaluated by the IACUC semi-annually, and reports are prepared in accordance with PHS policy.
Use of animals in research, teaching, or biological testing requires submission and approval of an Animal Study Protocol Application (see flow charts of IACUC review procedures, available via the ORSP Animals in Research page). IACUC-approved protocols are reviewed annually; for ongoing projects, a new application must be submitted every three years. The IACUC review and approval process typically takes a minimum of three weeks.
Note: The Animal Welfare Assurance agreements apply to all research involving the use of animals, whether funded or not and whether conducted by administrators, faculty, staff, or students.