The University of Wisconsin–Madison (UW–Madison) engages in research, teaching, and outreach activities with a broad range of nonhuman animals in both laboratory and field settings, as well as client-owned companion and agricultural animals. The University is committed to the responsible and humane treatment of nonhuman animals and ethical consideration that balances animal welfare with scientific objectives.
The purpose of this foundational policy is to broadly identify the activities and the sources of authority for the range of UW–Madison policies that are specific to the use of nonhuman animals in research, teaching, and outreach.
UW–Madison requires faculty, staff, and students using living, vertebrate animals in research, teaching, and or outreach activities to follow all institutional and federal requirements regarding the use and care of those animals. This includes having a protocol that is approved by the appropriate Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) prior to beginning any activities. Such activities include but are not limited to those that involve hands-on contact with animals, non-surgical procedures, surgeries, drug and feed trials, trapping wildlife, and behavioral testing.
Policy development and oversight is governed by federal regulations and is vested with three different authorities including the Institutional Official (IO), Attending Veterinarian (AV), and the IACUC. Each authority has responsibilities related to animal welfare and responsible conduct of research. Each authority can create, revise, and approve policies relevant to the respective areas. Most policies are collaboratively developed across areas. Institutional policy may exceed federal requirement.
Policies, procedures, and guidance that govern the use of animals in research, teaching, and outreach at UW–Madison are approved by one or more of the three independent authorities responsible for the oversight and conduct of activities involving animals: