/ Provost's Office

Animal Care and Use Committee

Hope College recognizes the value of and endorses the judicious use of animals in research and teaching. The college ensures the humane and ethical treatment of all animals used for this purpose.



Who must apply for vertebrate animal use?

All individuals proposing to use live vertebrate animals in their training, teaching, or research at Hope College must submit an application to the Hope College Animal Care and Use Committee (HCACUC) for review and approval. This is required by Public Health Service (PHS) Policy (PHS 2002) in order to meet requirements of the Animal Welfare Act (AWA 1990) and Regulations (PL 89-544; USDA 1985). Before HCACUC will approve an application, individuals whose studies involve live vertebrate animals must complete required training, including a CITI course module.  Grant applications submitted to agencies such as the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) will require an approved application from the HCACUC for the proposed work.

Application for Vertebrate Animal Use

Applications may be obtained from the Chair of HCACUC. When completing the application, please be aware that copies of applications may be released to the public under the Michigan Freedom of Information Act. If there is a request for your application, you will be notified prior to release. If you should receive inquiries from the public concerning your project, please contact the current chairperson of the Hope College Animal Care and Use Committee.


College policy and federal law require a review of projects for humane treatment and judicious and safe use of vertebrate animals. At Hope College, the review is conducted by the Hope College Animal Care and Use Committee (HCACUC).

Principal investigators and course instructors must obtain approval from HCACUC before initiating any research, testing or instructional project involving the use of vertebrate animals. Approved applications are valid for the specified project period or three years, whichever is less. HCACUC's principal areas of concern are housing and husbandry, animal health, veterinary medical care, minimization of pain, discomfort or distress, and the proficiency of personnel.

HCACUC approval must be obtained prior to any changes in approved protocols. 


In Item 1 of the application form, investigators and course instructors are required to categorize their use of vertebrate animals on the basis of the discomfort or pain involved. HCACUC has designated three categories:

  1. Procedures involve little or no discomfort or pain;
  2. Procedures may result in some discomfort or pain, but of short duration;
  3. Procedures may result in significant discomfort or pain.

Consideration should be given to methods that result in a lesser degree of unavoidable pain or discomfort, and use of the smallest number of animals consistent with accomplishing the scientific or educational objectives. Examples of procedures in each category are given below.

Category A: Procedures that involve little or no discomfort or pain. Procedures that if carried out in human subjects would not require anesthesia or analgesia, such as subcutaneous or intramuscular injections or blood collection; behavioral testing that does not involve restraint or exposure to noxious stimuli; studies conducted on completely anesthetized animals which do not regain consciousness; standard methods of euthanasia that result in rapid loss of consciousness and death; studies that do not produce significant abnormal physiological or behavioral states.

Category B: Procedures that may result in some discomfort or pain, but of short duration. Procedures that can be performed humanely under local anesthesia, such as exposure of superficial blood vessels or simple passage of catheters; surgical procedures under general anesthesia that could result in functional deficit or post-operative pain or discomfort that is limited to the immediate post-operative period; physiological or behavioral studies of conscious animals that may involve short-term restraint; food or water deprivation for moderate periods; exposure to noxious stimuli from which escape is possible; short-term social isolation or crowding. Humane concerns in this category relate to the degree and duration of unavoidable pain or discomfort.

Category C: Procedures that may result in significant discomfort or pain. Major surgical procedures under anesthesia that could result in substantial post-operative pain, discomfort, or functional deficit; exposure to noxious stimuli from which escape is impossible; prolonged physical restraint; imposition of significant behavioral stress; prolonged deprivation of food or water.