PHS Language On Required IACUC Members

From: Public Health Service Policy on Humane Care And Use of Laboratory Animals, IV. Implementation by Institutions, paragraph A.3.b.(1)-(4):

” b. The Assurance must include the names, position titles, and credentials of the IACUC chairperson and the members. The committee shall consist of not less than five members, and shall include at least:

(1) one Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, with training or experience in laboratory animal science and medicine, who has direct or delegated program authority and responsibility for activities involving animals at the institution (see IV.A.1.c.);

(2) one practicing scientist experienced in research involving animals;

(3) one member whose primary concerns are in a nonscientific area (for example, ethicist, lawyer, member of the clergy); and

(4) one individual who is not affiliated with the institution in any way other than as a member of the IACUC, and is not a member of the immediate family of a person who is affiliated with the institution.”

See the source document in HTML or PDF format at the OLAW website ( The document can also be accessed at


Historical note: As shown below, the authorizing law for PHS Policy (Public Law 99-158, the “Health Research Extension Act of 1985”) actually mirrored the requirements in the USDA Animal Welfare Act regulations for a minimum of three people on the IACUC. In the implementation of this law, however, PHS Policy increased the minimum to 5.

From:Health Research Extension Act of 1985 (Public Law 99-158, November 20, 1985, “Animals in Research”); Section 495, paragraph (b)(2):

“(2) Each animal care committee shall be appointed by the chief executive officer of the entity for which the committee is established, shall be composed of not fewer than three members, and shall include at least one individual who has no association with such entity and at least one doctor of veterinary medicine.

See the source document in HTML at the OLAW website ( The document can also be accessed at