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.

United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)

The USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service is responsible for the regulatory oversight of all activities involving vertebrate animals at government-registered research institutions. As part of this oversight, a Veterinary Medical Officer from the USDA conducts inspections of the U-M’s animal care and use facilities at least once per USDA fiscal year (October 1 – September 30).

For more information about the USDA inspection process, please visit the USDA Inspections webpageyellow lock icon

AAALAC International

Every three years, U-M’s Animal Care & Use Program is also reviewed by AAALAC International (AAALAC), a private, non-profit organization that promotes the humane treatment of animals in science through voluntary program assessments and subsequent accreditation. As part of this extensive review process, AAALAC Site Visitors tour U-M's facilities and ask questions of individuals involved in animal care and use at the University.

For more information about the AAALAC Site Visit process, please visit the AAALAC websiteyellow lock icon 

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.