Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC)

Mission Statement

The primary purpose of the Colorado College's Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) is to ensure the humane and sensitive care and use of research and teaching animals. As mandated by federal law, Colorado College's IACUC is responsible for reviewing all protocols involving live vertebrate animals, ensuring compliance with federal regulations, inspecting animal facilities and laboratories, and overseeing training and educational programs. In accordance with federal law, the IACUC consists of several faculty and staff from the campus, including at least one research scientist, a non-scientist, a veterinarian, as well as a representative from the local community who is not affiliated with the College.

Colorado College's IACUC is committed to ensuring that the approval of all animal research takes into consideration the possible replacement of animals, the refinement of studies to alleviate or minimize potential pain and maximize the comfort and welfare of the animals, and the possible reduction in the number of animals necessary to obtain valid scientific data.*

The IACUC serves as a resource for investigators, staff, and administrators using live vertebrate animals in research and teaching. It ensures that animal use is conducted in accordance with the highest scientific, humane, and ethical principles and is in compliance with regulations. The IACUC also ensures that housing conditions and care are species-appropriate and occur in an environment that is safe and secure for both animals and staff. Any research project, class activity, or testing procedure involving the use of animals must be reviewed and approved by the IACUC before initiation.

The IACUC is governed by applicable federal and state regulations, including those of the Animal Welfare Act (AWA), Public Health Service (PHS), and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and is guided by the U.S. Government Principles for the Utilization and Care of Vertebrate Animals Used in Testing, Research and Training.

Committee Oversight of Animal Activities

Colorado College Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee Oversight of Animal Activities


The IACUC expects that for all animal activities at Colorado College, animal welfare is a primary focus. In addition, the impact to human health must be considered when interacting with animals. However, not all animal activities are regulated in the same manner. Accordingly, this policy outlines IACUC's oversight of different animal activities. Any questions about whether an activity falls within IACUC oversight should be directed to the IACUC chair.

Full protocol:

A full protocol is required for any teaching, testing or research involving live animals at Colorado College, including observation of wildlife that requires any capture or handling of vertebrate animals. Any changes to the approved animal activities must be addressed by submitting a protocol amendment for review and approval before the new activity occurs. Full protocols are subject to the requirement for training of participating personnel, semi‐annual inspections, and de novo review after three years, among other requirements.

Abbreviated protocol:

Not all animal activities require a full protocol. If the animal activity falls under one of the categories listed below, only an abbreviated protocol is required. The individual responsible for the activity must submit the abbreviated protocol as the Principal Investigator (PI). The IACUC will review the abbreviated protocol to determine whether the activity falls into one of the categories listed below, or whether the activity must be submitted as a full protocol. The PI is responsible for notifying the IACUC if the animal activity changes in a substantive way. This type of protocol may require training of participating personnel, depending on the activities performed. Abbreviated protocols may be reviewed by the IACUC for reapproval every three years.

  • Non‐research, non‐teaching or non‐testing activities, such as animals used as mascots, for recreation (e.g., fish ponds or aquaria), or are college-owned service animals.
  • Wildlife: Activities in which free‐living wild vertebrates are subjected to field study or wildlife management activities, to include
    • Observation and/or recording (video/sound)
    • Use of field vocalizations
  • Activities involving specimens that can be collected without handling or otherwise interfering with an animal or its environment such as scat, discarded feathers, hair or fur.

Exempt activities:

Certain activities are currently considered exempt from an IACUC protocol:

  • No live animals: Research, teaching or testing activities involving carcasses, tissues, cells or fluids. Note that live animals may not be manipulated expressly for the purpose of obtaining the material. Material can be obtained from an animal that is euthanized as part of another approved IACUC protocol, from another research institution, from commercial sources, including scientific suppliers, from tissue or blood banks, from supermarkets; or animals salvaged from veterinarians or other sources. Note: if the material is from an animal or animals that are part of an approved IACUC protocol at any institution, the PI on the approved protocol must have the disposition of the material approved on their protocol prior to releasing the material for any purpose.
  • Non‐research, non‐teaching or non‐testing activities involving privately owned animals, where the activity is not an official Colorado College activity, e.g., walking a dog across campus or bringing an approved personal service animal to campus.
  • Activities involving retrieval or use of animal‐related data from record.
  • Any activity involving invertebrate species.
  • Removal of vertebrate vermin by an exterminator.

Report an issue - Last updated: 12/17/2020

Contact Info

Krista Fish, Ph.D.



Erica Hardcastle

Administrative Assistant