Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC)

Wartburg College promotes and actively supports the ethical treatment of animals.  As such, all learning activities associated with Wartburg College that involve the use of non-human vertebrate animals must first be submitted to the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) for their review and approval.  The IACUC has no official oversight role for activities that involve invertebrate animals.  However, members of the Wartburg community who are planning on using invertebrates are welcome to use the committee as a sounding board to help discuss ethical considerations.  (Note:  The activities over which the IACUC has purview have increased compared to HARRC.  Please use these new guidelines when deciding whether or not your activity requires approval by the IACUC.)

Examples of activities that would require IACUC approval:

  • Housing of vertebrates in the animal facility, classrooms, or public spaces
  • Lab or field research involving physical interaction with vertebrates
  • Course activities involving interaction with vertebrates
  • Exhibiting of vertebrates off-campus while representing the college

Examples of situations that are exempt from IACUC oversight:

  • Any of the above that would involve only invertebrates
  • Personal pets or service animals
  • Purely observational experiments of wild animals

Wartburg’s campus is listed with the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship as a licensed animal welfare facility.  We are also registered with the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Services (APHIS) for all warm blooded animals other than birds, lab mice, and lab rats.  APHIS registration involves submission of annual reports and annual inspections. 

In keeping with APHIS requirements, the documents that guide the committee’s animal welfare decisions include:

The primary objectives of these documents are to ensure:
1) appropriate housing for animal subjects.
2) that researchers have carefully considered the applicability of their animal model.
3) that appropriate numbers of animals are used.
4) that animals are euthanized in an ethical manner.
5) that pain and distress to animal subjects is minimized.
6) that all research using vertebrate animals is overseen by the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee of the researcher’s institution.

  1. Download and complete the correct form from the "Forms to Download" section of this page. Include all information in one electronic file (MS Word or PDF) if possible.
  2. Animal protocols that will occur in the animal facility must carry the signature of the animal facility manager (currently Dr. Samantha Larimer Bousquet) before submission. The signature of the animal facility manager indicates that you’ve been provided with any relevant SOPs (standard operating procedures) and that there would be space for research to occur.  You should use these SOPs to simplify the writing of your protocol; tell the committee that you are following the SOP for care except for the places noted.
  3. The signature sheet on the protocol form needs to be signed, and a copy needs to be delivered to the IACUC chairperson.  The signed sheet can either be scanned in and emailed as part of the submission, or a hard copy can be sent via campus mail.
  4. Completed protocols should be emailed to If the individual who wrote the protocol is a student, their research advisor (or other relevant faculty member) should send the email; the IACUC will not review protocol forms that are submitted directly from students. Faculty submission of a protocol indicates that the faculty member has carefully read the protocol, vouches for it being complete and accurate with no known ethical issues, and promises that appropriate support and oversight will be provided for the students to ensure that the protocol will be completed as proposed.
  5. If your research requires any permits from other agencies (such as the Iowa DNR), you should note in your protocol that appropriate permits will be obtained, and you should provide the IACUC with these permits after they obtained. (The IACUC will approve your study before obtaining these permits, with the understanding that appropriate permits will be acquired before the research begins.)

Researchers are required to halt approved activities (except for housing) if significant changes to the protocol become necessary or in the case of unexpected ill health of animals due to the protocol.  The IACUC should be informed immediately.  The committee will work with the concerned party to determine an appropriate revised course of action, if any.

There are no Handouts for this set.

In addition to the documents of official rules and regulations, you may find the following links useful in determining ethical logistics of your experiment.

If you plan on working with rodents, you should also contact the animal facility manager for the standard operating procedures for rodent care that have already been approved by the committee.

Individuals with concerns about vertebrate research on campus are welcome to contact the animal facility manager (Dr. Samantha Larimer Bousquet:, or the current chair of the IACUC (available at