Overview of Animal Care and Use at UCSC

UCSC recognizes the importance of the animals in its research and teaching programs: animals are vital for understanding basic biological processes and for developing treatments for human and animal diseases. At the same time, the health and welfare of research animals is a top priority at UCSC. The UCSC community holds itself to the highest standards of animal husbandry and the campus' research scientists take their responsibilities very seriously.

To ensure the proper treatment of animals used in research, the campus follows stringent internal, governmental, and third-party regulations to maintain research integrity and ethical practices in all of its facilities. The institutional responsibility for the campus animal care and use program lies within the administration at UCSC and the campus IACUC.


The IACUC holds the responsiblity for the oversight of the campus’ animal care and use program. The committee performs a stringent review of all proposed animal research to verify that any proposed animal research has the potential to improve the welfare of humans, improve the welfare of animals, or increase the body of basic knowledge in a way that serves humans or animals. The IACUC ensures that research using animals occurs only if there are no non-animal alternatives and that the research will be performed in an ethical and humane way.

The IACUC also serves as the enforcement agency for the proper treatment and care of animals at UCSC. The committee regularly performs surprise inspections of animal facilities and maintains the authority to suspend research funding should any concerns arise.

The committee's membership includes the campus veterinarian and research scientists, in addition to at least one nonscientist member from the campus, and at least one volunteer member from the Santa Cruz community, unaffiliated with the University. UCSC's IACUC also includes additional members with expertise in areas such as animal control and environmental impact.

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