Animal Welfare

In the pursuit of valid research and in compliance with federal law, Boston College has an Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC). As stated in 9 CFR 2.31 (a), "The Chief Executive Officer of the research facility shall appoint an Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee qualified through the expertise and experience of its members to assess the facility's animal program, facility and procedures"

The purpose of the IACUC is to act as an internal overseer of animal use in research, testing and teaching and to ensure that Animal Welfare Act mandates, federal laws enforced by the United States Department of Agriculture, are being followed. The BC IACUC derives its authority from the Animal Welfare Act.

The IACUC is responsible for several areas of animal research as listed in the Code of Federal Regulations, Chapter 1, Subchapter A, Animal Welfare, Part 2 including:

  • Reviewing and accepting, rejecting or requiring modifications on any research proposal involving animals
  • Inspecting animal care facilities, including labs and study areas, semiannually
  • Investigating concerns involving animal husbandry and use

Internal Policies

All research proposals involving vertebrate animals must be approved by the IACUC prior to starting research.
All significant changes to approved protocols must be approved before being implemented.
The IACUC must be notified of, and approve, the location of all vertebrate animals being used for research, testing and training.
All vertebrate animals must be cared for according to the standards set forth by The Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals.

The IACUC is comprised of a Chairperson, an attending veterinarian, scientists familiar with the use of laboratory animals, a community member not affiliated with BC, and others as needed.


The BC IACUC usually meets in the middle of each month. Ad hoc meetings can be scheduled should the need arise

All IACUC materials need to be submitted by the end of the month prior to the next scheduled IACUC meeting in order to be included in the meeting agenda. Please send all materials to the IACUC via email to:

Reporting a Perceived Deficiency

As part of an on-going effort to promote responsible research, anyone who believes there has been a violation of any policy should send a written report to the BC IACUC. The IACUC is responsible for investigating any alleged impropriety. Reports can be submitted through the IACUC chair, any individual member of the IACUC or the attending veterinarian. A report should be as specific as possible in describing the allegation. All efforts will be made, as far as legally possible, to keep the source confidential. No employee or student at BC will be discriminated against or subject to reprisal for reporting alleged violation of BC Animal Care and Use policies.


All forms can be found at this link:

Policies and Procedures Related to Research Involving Animals

All policies and procedures can be found at this link:

These include SOPs, our primary policy on animal research, our occupational health manual, as well as others dealing with personnel training, singly housing animals in cages, and a general policy on working in the Animal Care Facility.