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Sharing an animal or its tissues for more than one protocol is encouraged, in order to reduce the total number of animals used in research and teaching. If only animal-derived tissues but no live animals are needed for an experiment, a full IACUC protocol does not need to be completed. Instead, all research endeavors involving only animal-derived tissues must be described in a Request for Animal Tissues/Products for IACUC approval.
Studies involving only animal blood, blood products (e.g., serum, plasma, platelets, blood cells), or other tissues must also be approved by the IACUC when such material is obtained from sources other than a licensed biological supply company. Such approval is required to identify and avoid infectious disease threats to animals and personnel, confirm that the source is in compliance with federal and state laws and regulations, and to ensure that such use of animal materials is appropriate.
Requests for animal tissues can be made through the appropriate department, who will notify other investigators who may be using animals of that species, sex, age, strain, etc. to see if tissues may be available. Animal tissues may be obtained directly from other investigators or from collaborators from other institutions, or purchased from abattoirs or other sources, following IACUC approval.