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Policies and Guidelines

It is important to familiarize yourself with key federal and guidance documents that outline practices for the humane care, use, and management of animals.

WVU Guidelines

All WVU IACUC policies, guidance and procedures are in full compliance with all federal regulations and consistent with the Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals.

See WVU Policies

Federal Guidelines

WVU faculty and staff who work with animals must know the federal laws for using animals for teaching and research.

See Federal Policies

WVU Policies and Guidelines

WVU’s animal care and use program guidance documents – including policies, guidelines, Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), forms and informational resources.

Documents on the website are updated on a regular basis to maintain consistency with all applicable rules and regulations governing animal research. These updates also include a review of new and existing literature to ensure alignment with current trends and standard best practices in veterinary medicine and laboratory animal care. Should you have any general questions, concerns, or feedback about the WVU IACUC’s policies and guidelines, please contact


Animal Care and Use

Core Facility SOPs


Field Studies and Aquatics


Procedure Policies & Guidelines

Reporting Concerns

Animal Care and Use in Research and Teaching

In order to ensure the continuity of animal care, investigators must report adverse events and unexpected outcomes. Please see Reporting Adverse Events/Unexpected Outcomes Policy (above under Animal Care and Use) for more information. Contact the Office of Animal Welfare to determine if an "Event Reporting Form" needs to be submitted:

Adverse consequences that can be expected as part of the research model, which are included on each IACUC approved protocol, do NOT need to be reported unless there is a higher than anticipated frequency or severity.

The Office of Animal Welfare is now on EthicsPoint.


Surgery Related Procedure Policies and Guidelines

Use of Biohazards or Radioactivity with Animals

Use of Pharmaceutical and Chemical Agents

Occupational Health and Safety Policies

Model Guidance Sheets

The following guidance documents (as opposed to IACUC Policies and Guidelines) have been developed by WVU veterinarians in conjunction with investigators to provide guidance on common research models and the welfare considerations that should be addressed when proposing to work with those animal models. Model guidance sheets can be referenced by the researcher during protocol writing and review, as well as when proposing amendments to add these animal models.

Federal Policies and Guidelines

WVU has established the IACUC in accordance with the law to oversee animal care and use at this institution.

Faculty, staff and students are required to receive IACUC approval before conducting activities involving animals and must agree to comply with regulatory and advisory agencies’ guidelines.

American Veterinarian Medical Association (AVMA)

Federation of Animal Science Societies (FASS)

National Research Council (NRC)

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)

U.S. Public Health Service (PHS)