February 9, 2022 Update:
Individuals with protocols involving a USDA-regulated species that are funded by the United States Department of Defense (DoD) should contact their Research Compliance Associate in the Animal Care & Use Office for additional guidance on how the federal Animal Care & Use Review Office (ACURO), the administrative oversight body for DoD-funded projects, will handle annual reviews moving forward.
Consistent with an amendment made to the Animal Welfare Act (AWA) regulations, the U-M’s Institutional Animal Care & Use Committee (IACUC) has eliminated the requirement that animal use protocols involving a United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) regulated species undergo an annual review.
Therefore, effective January 2022, study teams are no longer required to complete these annual reviews. Automated email reminders and notifications about annual reviews from the eRAM system have also been discontinued.
Why Was This Change Made?
This change was made by the USDA to more closely align with existing Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare (OLAW) expectations which require PIs who receive funding from the federal government to conduct a triennial review of their research activities involving animals.
As outlined by the USDA’s Animal Plant and Health Inspection Service (APHIS) in the final ruling about these changes:
APHIS implemented these changes to help address the regulatory reforms and reduction of administrative burden called for by the passage of the 21st Century Cures Act, which “directs [the] USDA to work with the Food and Drug Administration and the National Institutes of Health to complete a review of regulations and policies for the care and use of laboratory animals.”
Specific questions about the annual review process may also be directed to the ACUO at firstname.lastname@example.org.