ACUC Mission Statement
The Animal Care and Use Committee (ACUC) is committed to responsible oversight of the use of vertebrate animals in teaching, research, and creative endeavors at the University. The Committee ensures that all use of vertebrate animals at Florida State University complies 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, the accreditation standards of AAALAC International, and all other federal, state, and local regulations, policies, and guidelines related to animal care and use.
The ACUC and its composition are mandated by federal law. University President Richard McCullough has given Stacey Patterson, Vice President for Research and Institutional Official, specific written authority to appoint ACUC members. Committee members include veterinarians with training and experience in laboratory animal science and medicine, practicing scientists experienced in research involving animals, a non-scientist, and an individual who is not affiliated with the institution in any way other than as a member of the ACUC. The University Biosafety Officer and legal counsel from the Office of the Vice President for Research serve as non-voting committee members. The ACUC reports to Stacey Patterson.
All use of vertebrate animals in teaching, research, and creative endeavors at Florida State University must be reviewed and approved in advance by the ACUC. The committee conducts in depth reviews of all Animal Use Protocols, 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.