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ACUC Mission Statement

The Animal Care and Use Committee (ACUC) is committed to responsible oversight of the use of vertebrate animals in research, testing and exhibition at the University. The Committee ensures that all use of vertebrate animals at Florida State University is in compliance with the United States Department of Agriculture Animal Welfare Act and Regulations, the Public Health Service Policy on Humane Care and Use of Laboratory Animals, the Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals, and all other applicable federal, state and local regulations, policies and procedures.

The committee is required by federal law and its composition is dictated by the same laws, policies and regulations. University President John Thrasher has given Dr. Gary Ostrander, Vice President for Research and Institutional Official, specific written authority to appoint ACUC members. Committee members include University scientists, University non-science faculty and staff, University veterinarians, and community representatives. The committee also includes several ex-officio members for the purpose of guidance and consultation. The ACUC reports to the Dr. Gary Ostrander.

All use of vertebrate animals in research, teaching or other activities at Florida State University must be reviewed and approved in advance by the ACUC. The committee conducts in depth reviews of all proposals, assuring itself that the research is not unnecessarily duplicative, that all personnel are adequately trained and protected, that the work will be conducted humanely, and that alternatives to the use of animals are not available. Other responsibilities include review of the animal care program every six months, inspection of all animal facilities and support areas once every six months, as well as the review of all concerns regarding animal care and use.

Historically, animals have been used in science to gain new knowledge about the biology and behavior of living organisms and to ensure the safety and efficacy of drugs and procedures that benefit both mankind and animals. Many important strides have been made using animals, including vaccines and drugs with which to treat life threatening diseases as well as knowledge leading to the development of new surgical techniques permitting hundreds of thousands to lead normal lives. Researchers are committed to searching for ways to minimize the use of animals in research by adopting alternative methods when available and the ACUC serves as a resource to all in providing guidance to plan and conduct animal research using the highest scientific, humane and ethical principles.