The Use of Animal Tissues or Carcasses


Situations may occur which Wayne State University (WSU) faculty/staff will need to use animal tissue or carcasses obtained from on-campus or off-campus sources for research, teaching, or testing on WSU campus. In agreement with Russell and Burch's 3 R's (reduction, refinement, replacement), the WSU IACUC encourages tissue sharing when possible. Animal Welfare Regulations (Animal Welfare Act and PHS Policy) do not apply to dead animals used in a research facility setting. Therefore, a completed animal use protocol is not necessary if only tissues or carcasses are used and the animals were not euthanized solely for the purpose of tissue collection. However, it is important for the WSU IACUC to have knowledge of animal tissues or carcasses used on campus for biosecurity, personnel safety, liability and public relations purposes. This policy outlines the IACUC requirements for using animal tissue or carcasses on campus for research, teaching, or testing.


Animal Tissue: Any part of a vertebrate animal that contributes to the individual's or species' homeostasis when the animal is alive. The policy is not intended for commercially available, purchased materials or rodent-derived cell lines.

IACUC Policy

  1. An IACUC Animal Use Protocol is required if any of the following criteria are met:

a. If an animal is euthanized specifically for a study.

b. If the animal is alive when the tissue is removed.

c. If the tissue comes from live animals obtained from another principal investigator's study.

d. If euthanasia procedure or pre-procedure is modified to accommodate the conditions of the study.

  1. A Use of Animal Tissues or Carcasses Request Form must be completed and submitted to the IACUC office for the following circumstances:

a. If a researcher will be using a whole USDA regulated animal carcass.

b. If the animal tissues have been exposed to hazardous agents (i.e. chemical, biological, or radiation) and it is within the precautionary period.

c. If the animals carry known infectious agents.

d. If animal tissue is obtained from a source outside of the university (e.g. feed store, pet shop, another university, abattoir).

  1. The Use of Animal Tissue Request Form will be reviewed by a veterinarian and IACUC chair.
  2. The PI will be notified when they are approved to obtain the animal tissue/carcass.
  3.  If animal tissue is obtained from other investigators on-campus and does not meet the circumstances outlined in section 1 or 2, a Use of Animal Tissue Request Form or an IACUC Animal Use Protocol is not necessary. These activities can proceed without alerting the IACUC.


Approved: July 2018