Animal Subjects

Sonoma State University accepts the principles governing the use of live animals expressed in the regulations of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, U.S. Public Health Service, Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare (OLAW) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), as well as all California regulations and statutes governing these matters. All covered live animals kept on campus for research and instructional observation are subject to the review and approval of the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC). Investigators intending to conduct research involving human subjects should carefully review Sonoma State University’s campus policy on Animal Care and Use.

For more information please contact the ORSP Compliance Officer, Arcelia Sandoval at or (707) 664-2066.

SSU Policy Highlights

  • The policy applies to the procurement, housing, care and use of animals in university-supported research, testing, or instruction; and to research, testing or instruction using any university property or facility.
  • The policy applies to any animal procurement, transport, confinement, housing, care, manipulation, experimentation, breeding, or use in research, research training, experimentation, instruction, biological testing, or related purposes involving SSU faculty, staff, or students or utilizing any SSU facility or property.
  • It is the responsibility of the Principal Investigator, Project Director, or faculty member (whichever applies)to obtain IACUC approval of a protocol for any animal use activities and determine that the proposed activities are in accordance with federal laws and regulations.

Federally-mandated functions of the IACUC

  • Review at least once every six months the institution's program for humane care and use of animals.
  • Inspect at least once every six months all the institution's animal facilities.
  • Prepare reports of the IACUC evaluations and submit the reports to the Institutional Official.
  • The reports must distinguish significant deficiencies from minor deficiencies. If program or facility deficiencies are noted, the reports must contain a reasonable and specific plan and schedule for correcting each deficiency.
  • Review concerns involving the care and use of animals at the institution.
  • Make recommendations to the Institutional Official regarding any aspect of the institution's animal program, facilities, or personnel training.
  • Review and approve, require modifications in (to secure approval) or withhold approval of activities related to the care and use of animals.
  • Review and approve, require modifications in (to secure approval), or withhold approval of, proposed significant changes regarding the use of animals in ongoing activities.
  • Be authorized to suspend an activity involving animals.

Federal policy guidance

Current IACUC Membership

How to submit an animal care and use protocol to IACUC

Your protocol must detail:

  • Identification of the species and the approximate number of animals to be used;
  • A rational for involving animals, and for the appropriateness of the species and numbers of animals to be used;
  • A complete description of the proposed use of the animals;
  • A description of procedures designed to assure that discomfort and pain to animals will be limited to that which is unavoidable for the conduct of scientifically valuable research, including provision for the use of analgesic, anesthetic, and tranquilizing drugs where indicated and appropriate to minimize discomfort and pain to animals;
  • A description of any euthanasia method to be used;
  • A description of the methods and sources used to determine that alternatives are not available to procedures that may cause more than momentary or slight pain or distress to the animals;
  • An assurance that the proposed activities do not unnecessarily duplicate previous experiments; and
  • Any other information the IACUC deems necessary.

Your protocol should be submitted directly to the IACUC chair. Activities involving the use of animals cannot begin until you have received notification of approval from the IACUC chair.