World Wide Web Resources for the
Institutional Animal Care & Use Committee

Julie Watson

Consulting Veterinarian


Carol Wigglesworth

Senior Policy Analyst, OPRR


Introduction: Scope of Talk

This talk is limited to the World Wide Web – we don’t include other resources, such as FTP sites or Gopher. Similarly this is not an exhaustive list of resources (we wish it were)! Merely a compilation of some of the sites we have found to be most useful. Also not covered are ‘training’ and ‘alternatives’ because there are other talks at this conference devoted to those issues, and the general topic of the veterinary care which is generally the purview of the institutional veterinarian. Before we get on to actual sites, we will briefly discuss some search strategies


Search Strategies

There are 2 commonly-used options for starting a search from scratch: first, using commercial search engines and second, using databases and hotlinks. Some favorite search engines, are ‘HotBot’ (a recent "Science" paper (April 3rd 1998) showed it to cover the highest number of indexed pages) Altavista, and ‘Metacrawler’ (which summarizes the results of several search engines). However it should be noted that according to the ‘Science’ article, no search engine covered more than a third of the estimated total indexed pages, and the drawback to using search engines is that it takes technique and time to get relevant results. For example, for the simple search term "IACUC, " Hotbot gave 1490 listings—definitely too many to trek through, although a more refined search would obviously have narrowed things down considerably. However the fastest method is often to start from a focused database such as NetVet.


Start from a database ( a term I use loosely to describe a collection of hotlinks in particular subject area) which has already narrowed the field to relevant sites. Pursuing hotlinks from good sites is rather like the old strategy of following references from a useful research paper. If you find a good research paper in your field, then the references at the end can be as useful as the paper. In the electronic world, finding a good "site" can reward you with lots of useful hotlinks.


NetVet Database and the IACUC has a whole (long) page devoted to IACUCs at (will also be available at ) It has 11 subsections (all on the same page, which involves scrolling down a long way to check out all the sections) which contain hotlinks to hundreds of sites. The following subsections are particularly relevant for IACUCs:



Example: Using NetVet to Start a Search

Having followed all the hotlinks to the National Archives page, you can either browse the Federal Register using their "browse" feature, or search by keyword, date, or title/volume.

And link to the Thomas site for current legislation. On the Thomas site, you can find bills listed by legislative session or committee, or can search by Law # or type, topic, popular or short title, or Laws which have been enacted.


Other Databases/Search Engines for The IACUC

A very extensive list of hotlinks organized alphabetically according to which branch of the government you are dealing with. As described in the search examples above, the "Thomas" site is a useful site to have bookmarked for laws and regulations, as is the National Archives and Records Administration GPO access site

Mouse and rat research homepage geared to researchers, but could be useful resource for IACUC members, for example for localizing a hybridoma bank as an alternative to ascites production, description and sources of inbred strains, background information on transgenes and transgenic research.

Animal health site: comprehensive list of animal rights organizations (over 6000) and sites (over 1000) plus listings for endangered species and animal sites (in general for the non-professional) categorized by species.

Many of the listed sites on OSHWEB appear to be geared to the occupational health and safety professional rather than the IACUC member. However they contain comprehensive listings on safety –has subcategories of e.g. radiation safety, chemical safety, listservs, etc.

OSHA site is a fairly useful listing of occupational health and safety organizations, and a few institutional departments

American Public Health Association listing geared to the general public.

Audiovisual alternatives to laboratory animals in teaching. A rather large database of materials, including books, audiotapes, videotapes, CD ROMs, films, computer programs etc. Efficient search engine and extensive information on resources includes a detailed description of the contents, source, price, audience suitability, etc. Also of interest are the Johns Hopkins and UC Davis alternatives sites, and the National Library of Medicine quarterly on-line bibliography.

Hotlinks to Laws, regulations, and guidance on the Public Health Service Policy.


Electronic Resources


Reference Materials – PHS Policy; applicable to PHS awards involving use of live, vertebrate animals. – Health Research Extension Act of 1985; statutory basis for the PHS Policy. - Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) home page. - Animal Care/APHIS home page. – text versions of the complete Animal Welfare Act and Regulations. – Animal Welfare Regulations in SGML format (requires downloading Panorama viewer). – 21 official policy documents that clarify the intent of the Animal Welfare Act. – Animal Welfare Information Center home page. – Animal Welfare Act Briefs for Research Facilities; in SGML format, requires downloading Panorama viewer. – AWIC bibliographies. - incorporated by reference into the PHS Policy.


More Reference Materials – PHS Policy incorporates these guidelines by reference. – 1996 ACLAM report describing adequate veterinary care. – 1997 publication of the Institute for Laboratory Animal Research; posted in graphic format. – 1991 publication of the Institute for Laboratory Animal Resources; text format.


OPRR lab animal welfare site – web-based tutorial for new animal care and use committee members, institutional administrators, investigators, animal care personnel, veterinarians, or others who are interested in learning about the PHS Policy on Humane Care and Use of Laboratory Animals. Explains key concepts such as institutional self-regulation and role and responsibilities of the IACUC; includes multiple links to relevant documents and other resources and sites. – sample annual report to OPRR, animal welfare assurance, semiannual program and facility review checklist, and semiannual report to the institutional official. – ARENA/OPRR 1992 IACUC Guidebook. – list of topics with links to articles written by OPRR staff, Frequently Asked Questions (faqs), and OPRR Dear Colleague letters. - OPRR staff phone numbers, schedule of animal welfare workshops, list of Assured institutions, Memorandum of Understanding with USDA.


Public Health Service Policy Tutorial



OPRR Sample Documents Site – annual report to OPRR may be completed on line or printed. – sample Animal Welfare Assurance in html with links to resource and guidance documents; may be downloaded in variety of word processing formats. – sample Semiannual Review Checklist in html with links to relevant portions of the Guide; may be downloaded in variety of word processing formats. – sample template for IACUC semiannual report to Institutional Official.


Comprehensive Institutional Sites - Animal Use and Care Administrative Advisory Committee page. Includes policy statements, protocol templates, policy and procedure manual excerpts, page of reference documents with links, and 11 autotutorials. - IACUC page. Includes IACUC guidelines, IACUC review process, animal use approval forms, links to other IACUC sites, graphs of USDA trends of animal use for last 3 and last 20 years, and information on animals by species. – Animal Care Committee page. Includes tips on searching for alternatives, information on zoonotic diseases, and training information on individual species. – Research Animal Resources page. Includes animal use forms in rtf and pdf formats, and forms for using hazardous or infectious agents. Multiple IACUC guidelines, animal use issues, experimental guidelines, selected references, links to other sites, etc.


Institutional Checklists & Forms – Semiannual program review checklist developed by Dr. Stephen Curtis; posted at the Rutgers Laboratory Animal Services homecage. – U. of Iowa Animal Care Unit home page. – U. of Iowa Animal Care and Use Review Form and Hazardous Agent Review Form.

 Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center - CPMC IACUC home page. – CPMC Initial and Renewal Application-Protocol Summary Form – Use of Live Vertebrates for Research or Teaching; Protocol Summary Form for Custom Antibody Production; in word processing formats. – Univ. of Central Arkansas IACUC home page; Application for Approval of Use of Animals in Teaching or Research in pdf format (requires Adobe Acrobat reader).


· University of Connecticut Health Center - U. of Conn. Health Center Animal Care and Use home page – U. of Conn. Health Center Application for Animal Care and Use


Posting of sample animal care and use protocol form on OPRR web site to be completed in late 1998-early 1999.


IACUC Procedures, Manuals, and Report Examples – U. of Florida Procedure for Handling Animal Care and Use Complaints. – U. of Tennessee Policy for Reporting Noncompliance with Laboratory Animal Care and Use Guidelines – U. of Michigan Animal Concern Hotline information. – U. of Colorado guidance on Reporting Concerns of Animal Use or Misuse. – Essentials for Animal Research, by B. T. Bennett, M. J. Brown and J. C. Schofield. – example of IACUC semiannual report to the Institutional Official (Univ. of Wyoming)


Selected Topics: Facilities Inspection & Program




Facilities Inspection

The facilities inspection part benefits from customization to suit individual institutions. For example typing in room numbers, noting deficiencies that have been noticed in the past, names of individuals to talk to, relevant protocol numbers, etc.

Univ. of Missouri. I like the discussion of how to conduct a facilities inspection—how to get the most out of it, i.e. ask individuals questions such as how things are done, what works and what doesn’t; remember to check on particular protocols, always try and clarify things with staff who may be present, etc.


Occupational Health and Safety—IACUC Issues

What should a good occupational health and safety program contain, and who should it apply to? For example, are non-affiliated IACUC members or students in teaching labs covered?

When does the IACUC need to ask for a safety review? Is the protocol review process used to check that personnel working with animals are enrolled in an appropriate occupational health program?

Consider the hazard presented by the animal or substance: frequency, duration, and nature of animal/substance contact; protective policies in force, and health status of individual personnel.


Occupational Health and Safety Resources

If you are consulting for a very small company that doesn’t have its own safety department, consider downloading this handbook. It is a fairly comprehensive booklet which explains the steps to take in setting up a safety program, contains an extensive series of checklists on everything from sanitizing clothes to hazardous chemical use, and lists the applicable regulations and local addresses for OSHA offices. Beware though, this is a 74 page, 76MB document which takes a very long time to download (it took me over half an hour to download this using my 28K modem)

CDC publication courtesy of Michigan State University Read-only version of the National Research Council 1997 publication "Occupational Health and Safety in the Care and Use of Research Animals."

CDC’s disease information page. Lots of zooonotic disease information here. Many home pages hotlink this site.

National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health Public Home Page. Includes a hotlink to a compete list of publications by NIOSH, e.g. on individual hazardous substances—some of which are available to download as PDF files. However be prepared for a very long wait as the document file is incredibly slow to load and reload. Actually this whole site is tediously slow

Occupational Safety and Health Administration, Dept. of Labor Home Page.


Examples of Occupational Health & Safety Programs

UC Davis Occupational Health Program site. Extensive and nicely organized pages encompassing the UC Davis Occupational Health Program, an animal contact medical review form to download, notes about protective practices, and extensive information and links on zoonotic diseases. U of Florida risk-based occupational health program (called animal contact program). Includes table of occupational health program components for different levels of risk, and examples of the zoonotic risks posed by various animals, and different degrees of risk for personnel based on the species of animal and extent of contact.

Occupational Health Program for Animal Handlers, Univ. of Michigan. Narrative, table of occupation assigned a risk categorization A through E, FAQ section, Table summarizing different occupational health program for different risk categories.

Environmental Health and Safety Office UC Santa Barbara Control

University of CA Santa Barbara narrative on safety in the biomedical laboratory.

UC Santa Barbara – zoonoses categorized by animal host

Q-Fever policy from U of FL University of Central Arkansas. Downloadable Adobe Acrobat files for 5 page occupational health form and signoff.



OSH web – list of safety sites on web divided into different categories, such as radiation safety, listservs, chemical safety, fire safety, etc.

List of safety related sites on the WWW

List of environmental health and safety sites on the WWW. Control University of CA Santa Barbara narrative on safety in the biomedical laboratory. " Working Safely with Animals" A nice summary of hazards associated with working with lab animals, including a very readable "case history" section.

Q-Fever policy from U of FL U of Minnesota sharps handling policy U of Minnesota primate bite/scratch/splash policy U of Medicine/Dentistry New Jersey Guidelines for Bites/scratches UC Davis table of bugs listed by biosafety level UC Davis guidelines for working with wild rodents U of Minnesota forms for use of Hazardous chemicals, infectious agents, radioisotopes, recombinant DNA. U of Vermont entire radiation safety manual online List of radiation safety sites from OSHWeb, including several institutional radiation safety manuals on line.

Newsletter articles: U of Vermont; U of Vermont "ten commandments" for use of whole body dosimeters U of Vermont "biological effects of ionizing radiation" U of Vermont "security of radioactive materials" U of Vermont "proper use of portable radiation detectors"

NIH "Guidelines for Research involving Recombinant DNA molecules," April 1998. An extensive document which covers risk assessment, experiments covered, responsibilities, containment strategies, and advice on writing an NIH protocol.


Drug Safety and Control

PDF file FDA ruling on extralabel drug use

List of free sites on the WWW for MSDS listings

University of Vermont search engine for MSDS – personally I like this one the best, although it reportedly has fewer listings than the Cornell database (below). When searching for simple words, such as ‘Formalin’ or ‘xylene’ it produced a list of the single compounds instead of an assorted list of other things containing the words formalin or xylene.


Material Safety Data Sheets search engine, Cornell. Extensive listing. U of Minnesota Urethane use guidelines



This area has been covered in another presentation, but would normally be included in the IACUC semiannual program review. Here are a couple of interesting resources I found in my travels. Training links and resources from the U of Florida ILAR Principles for the Use of Animals in Precollege education (1989). Three page document describing 10 basic principles. OPRR on PHS Policy: how extensive a training program is needed in a small institution? UC Davis Web tutorials for researchers


Selected Topics: Protocol Review


Ethical Use of Animals in Research On being a scientist – responsible conduct of research. National Academy of Sciences 1985. Guidelines for Ethical Conduct in the Care and Use of Animals from the American Psychological Association. An extensive and fairly practical series of guidelines for humane use of animals in research, especially useful for giving IACUCs guidance on the acceptability of various commonly-used procedures in psychology experiments. Includes the statement "Psychologists are encouraged to test painful stimuli on themselves, whenever reasonable." US Government Principles for the Utilization and Care of Vertebrate Animals used in Testing, Research and Training.


IACUC Guidelines for Commonly-Used Procedures U of Connecticut U of Medicine/Dentistry New Jersey U of Tennessee-Knoxville U of Florida U of Iowa alternatives to FCA U of Minnesota November 1997 "Dear Colleague" letter from the Office for the Protection from Research Risks on the production of monoclonal antibodies. Specifically, alternatives to the use of in vivo ascites production must be considered and rejected as unsuitable before live animals may be used. The mouse ascites method must be scientifically justified. U of Medicine/Dentistry New Jersey U of Tennessee-Knoxville U of Iowa U of Iowa U of Minnesota Canadian Council on Animal Care Guidelines for Transgenic Research, available for download Extensive! NIH guidelines for Research with Recombinant DNA molecules U of Tennessee-Knoxville U of Colorado

FDA amendment to the Good Laboratory Practice Regulations discouraging toe clipping. U of Tennessee-Knoxville U of Colorado U of Tennessee-Knoxville U of Minnesota U of Florida U of Colorado


IACUC Guidelines—Animal Welfare Act & "Guide" Issues U of Tennessee-Knoxville U of Minnesota environmental enrichment U of Florida U of Colorado U of Colorado REAC - Single vs multiple procedures U of Colorado North Dakota State U IACUC Newsletter table of contents. Various issues provide succinct overviews on such topics as: USDA policy on painful procedures; consideration of alternatives: documentation; IACUC review of field studies


Surgery U of Iowa U of Iowa

More extensive guidelines for post-procedural care and monitoring and basic biological data for mice, rats, rabbits, sheep/goats, dogs, cats, and macaques. U of Minnesota extensive description of postoperative care program, including individual responsibilitiies, stages of animal recovery, analgesic/antibiotic administration, medical emergencies, hotlink to euthanasia criteria, and record keeping. U of Minnesota U of Iowa Univ of Minnesota includes a list of references Rutgers Univ. narrative on surgical procedures Rutgers Univ. U of Florida U of Minnesota Nicely-organized rodent surgery guidelines from Ohio State University. Includes a video segment (which I didn't view because netscape said it would take 25 minutes to download)! OPRR on PHS Policy standards for rodent survival surgery U of Minnesota


Anesthetic and Analgesic Use

Painful or distressful procedures – definitions

Examples of pain categories used by the U of Florida U of Florida U of Tennessee Knoxville. Dosage tables of anesthetics and analgesics by species, including amphibians and reptiles. Specific references for individual dosages not given, nor guidance of expected effects of anesthesia. General anesthetic reference sources used are listed at the bottom of the list. U of Minnesota info on analgesia use. Practical notes on their use as well as dosages. UC Davis Analgesic drug dosages for lab animals

General narrative on anesthesia - Univ of CA Santa Barbara, dosage lists for rodents and rabbits U of Colorado dosage tables and guidelines for anesthesia and analgesia of mice, rats, guinea pigs and rabbits. Extensively referenced by electronic footnotes. U of Minnesota dosages. U of Minnesota guidelines for use of anesthetics FDA ruling on extralabel drug use

U of Iowa anesthetic monitoring

AVMA Guidelines for monitoring anesthetized patients



Report of the 1993 AVMA Panel on Euthanasia posted on the AWIC site.

U of Colorado extensive page on euthanasia, including summary of Report of the AVMA Panel on Euthanasia, and tables of acceptable methods by species, and drug dosages.

Rutgers - extensive discussion and recommendations for euthanasia

Univ. of Iowa animal care unit guidelines for euthanasia, including a table of methods for various species. Useful reference page for those developing their own resources. U of Colorado - euthanasia of neonatal rodents U of Minnesota table