Zebrafish in fish tanksIn order to maintain compliance with University policies and all applicable federal and state laws, the Institutional Animal Care & Use Committee (IACUC) must perform scheduled inspections of all animal housing rooms, surgical suites, and support spaces.

Inspections occur on a semi-annual basis and are conducted by members of the IACUC.

Several aspects of the facility, including but not limited to the following, are reviewed during inspections:

  • Training of individuals in the laboratory
  • The storage and expiration dates of pharmaceuticals
  • Appropriate euthanasia methods
  • Personnel and animal safety issues
  • Appropriate record-keeping
  • Ensuring that the number of animals procured, bred, and used do not exceed the number of animals listed
    on the approved protocol
  • General laboratory maintenance

The IACUC follows the Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals, as well as federal regulations pertaining to animal care and use facilities, to guide their inspections.

These, as well as U-M’s policies and guidelines pertaining to animal husbandry and facilities, should be reviewed prior to inspection to ensure that the facility meets or exceeds required standards.

  • The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), a group responsible for inspecting and overseeing the use of certain animals in research and teaching, conducts inspections of U-M’s animal care and use facilities once per USDA fiscal year (October 1 – September 30). During the inspection, the Animal Care & Use Program Manager accompanies the USDA Inspector.
  • Every three years, U-M’s entire Animal Care & Use Program is also reviewed by the Association for Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care International (AAALAC), a voluntary accreditation program. Part of this review process includes a week-long series of visits to animal areas by five or more prominent animal care and use experts from other peer institutions.

Additional details about how the Animal Care & Use Program is accredited are available on the Accreditation page.

References and Resources


If you have specific questions or concerns about animal facility inspections, or about how U-M’s Animal Care & Use Program is accredited, please contact the Animal Care & Use Office at or (734) 763-8028.