Animal Activities Oversight

Guidance on animal activities requiring IACUC oversight

Purpose:  To describe what activities require IACUC oversight and/or an IACUC-approved animal use protocol

Background:  The IACUC must review and approve all research  and teaching proposals (protocols) involving vertebrate animals in compliance with PHS Policy on Humane Care and Use of Laboratory Animals (PHS Policy II) and the Animal Welfare Act Regulations (AWAR §1.1 and §2.31). 

Determination of activities requiring IACUC oversight: 

The IACUC has established the following guidelines to determine whether an activity involving animals requires IACUC oversight and/or an IACUC-approved animal use protocol:

Requires oversight:

  • Any research, research training, experimentation, biological testing, and related activities involving live vertebrate animals and conducted at this Institution, or at another institution as a consequence of the subgranting or subcontracting of a Public Health Service (PHS) conducted or supported activity by this Institution.
  • A course using vertebrate animals in teaching.  See IACUC Policy on Classroom Use of Live Animals for more information.
  • A researcher’s involvement with animal research at another institution that does or does not have its own IACUC.

May require oversight (contact prior to conducting these activities): 

  • Live animal demonstrations or exhibits involving more than minimal interactions with the participants. 
  • Activities in which the animal is under the control of its owner (e.g., pets).
  • Observation-only field studies, as defined in the Animal Welfare Act regulations (“…any study conducted on free-living wild animals in their natural habitat, which does not involve an invasive procedure, and which does not harm or materially alter the behavior of the animals under study.”).  See IACUC Form on Determination of Exemption for Observation Only Studies.
  • Activities involving invertebrate animals.

No one – veterinarians, faculty, staff, students, or visitors – is exempt from providing animals with humane care while on the University of Mississippi campus. 

For questions related to animal activities, please contact the IACUC Office at

Other Contacts: