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OAWA Overview

The Office of Animal Welfare Assurance (OAWA) is dedicated to the task of facilitating and assisting faculty in the conduct of research and other activities involving the use of laboratory animals.  The OAWA is the regulatory oversight office for the SOM Animal Care and Use Program, and provides support for the UM SOM Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC).  The OAWA reports to the Dean of the School of Medicine.   All IACUC matters should be directed to this office.

The OAWA’s responsibilities include:

  • IACUC Administration
  • Animal Welfare Inspections and Compliance
  • Regulatory reporting
  • Training
  • Outreach and Communications

Institutional Animal Care & Use Committee

The use of animals in research, teaching or other activities at the University of Maryland School of Medicine must be reviewed and approved by the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC). The IACUC reports to the Dean of the School of Medicine and is assisted by the Office of Animal Welfare Assurance. The IACUC is responsible for assuring that all animal use complies with the Animal Welfare Act, Public Health Service (PHS) Policy on Humane Care and Use of Laboratory Animals, the Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals and all other applicable regulations, policies and procedures. In addition to reviewing all proposals to use animals, the IACUC is responsible for:

  1. Conducting a review at least every six months of the School of Medicine’s program for humane care and use of animals;
  2. Inspecting every six months all animal facilities and animal study areas;
  3. Submitting written reports to the Institutional Official; and
  4. Reviewing all concerns regarding animal care and use.

The husbandry and veterinary care of all animals is the responsibility of Veterinary Resources, which consists of a staff of well trained and dedicated animal caretakers, veterinary technicians, veterinary assistants and veterinarians.

This website is designed as a resource for faculty members and their research staff to improve the quality of research proposals being submitted, to help facilitate the regulatory process, and most importantly, to ensure the welfare of the animals.