Use of Invertebrate Animals in Research, Teaching, and Testing


The PHS policy defines animals as any live, vertebrate animal used or intended for use in research, research training, experimentation, or biological testing or for related purposes. The Animal Welfare regulations refines the definition of animals further to only include any live or dead dog, cat, monkey (nonhuman primate mammal), guinea pig, hamster, rabbit, or such other warm-blooded animal. Neither regulations include invertebrate species into their definition of an animal.

AAALAC international is a voluntary accreditation organization which promotes humane treatment of animals in science. As an AAALAC accredited institution, Wayne State needs to provide guidance regarding the inclusion of invertebrates into our animal care programs in accordance with AAALAC recommendations: "All animals used or to be used in research, teaching or testing at accreditable units are to be included and evaluated... This includes traditional laboratory animals, farm animals, wildlife, and aquatic animals. Nontraditional animals, inclusive of invertebrate species, are also included where they are relevant to the unit's mission."


IACUC Guidelines

1.  The degree of IACUC oversight necessary for invertebrates depends on the species being used, type of procedures being performed, and location of procedures.

a.  The IACUC will not require an animal use protocol for activities involving lower level invertebrate species (e.g. brine shrimp, fruit flies, nematodes, mosquitos, etc.).

b.  Any activity involving higher level invertebrates in the Class Cephalopoda will require an approved animal use protocol.

2.  Many species of invertebrates are non-native and obtained from the wild.

a.  All federal, state, and local laws must be followed when obtaining and maintaining invertebrate animals on campus.

b.  All appropriate permits must be obtained prior to obtaining animals from wild sources.

3.  OEHS must be contacted if invertebrate animals which may pose a health hazard risk to humans or the environment (e.g. venomous species, disease vectors, parasitic organisms) are used and/or maintained on campus.

4.  OEHS should be consulted if genetically modified invertebrates are used on campus.

5.  Invertebrate species cannot enter into the DLAR vivarium spaces without consultation and approval from the IACUC and Attending Veterinarian (AV).

6.  When planning experiments using invertebrate animals please consider the following:

a.  Training of personnel

b.  Appropriate husbandry practices

c.  Health monitoring and record keeping

d.  Species interactions

e.  Physical plant provisions

f.  Occupational health and safety risks

g.  Appropriate containment to prevent escape


Approved: October 2019