Animal Care and Use Review Office (ACURO)
Notice regarding annual DoD requests for USDA Inspection Reports
If your institution received a request to send its USDA Inspection Report to ACURO, that is a legitimate request/email.
Background--Per Department of Defense (DoD) regulations, the Animal Care & Use Review Office (ACURO) must review USDA inspection reports annually for all institutions using animals to conduct DoD-supported research, development, testing, evaluation, or training. ACURO recently sent out an email to all such sites requesting submission of a copy of the most recent USDA inspection report. We are aware that Inspections have been impacted by COVID-19.
As we are implementing a new automated system for requesting and receiving these submissions on an annual basis, it has come to our attention that the process is not yet perfect (e.g., repeated emails, incorrect recipients, requests sent to federal facilities not inspected by USDA). We are working to correct these issues and appreciate your patience as we work to improve our processes.
Research facility contact information: If your contact information in our database is not up to date, this may result in requests being sent to incorrect personnel. If that is the case, please have a single point of contact from your institution (such as an IACUC administrator or chair) contact ACURO to provide updated contact information.
Federal institutions: Due to a system error, request emails were also sent to a number of federal facilities (e.g., VA, DoD, NIH). Because federal research facilities do not receive USDA inspections, they may disregard the request email. Federal facilities do not need to respond to this request. If you continue to receive USDA Inspection Report request emails, notify ACURO.
Exempt institutions: Facilities that are not research facilities (as defined by the Animal Welfare Regulations, subsection 1.1) and research facilities that do not use any USDA covered species are exempt from USDA inspection. In lieu of providing an inspection report, exempt institutions will provide a statement of exemption by responding to the request email stating that they are exempt from USDA inspection and the basis for the exemption.
For all other institutions with active animal use protocols supported by the DoD, please send us your report by replying to the request email you received (firstname.lastname@example.org). Please note that monthly email reminders will be sent until the report or statement of exemption is received. We do understand COVID’s impact on inspections. Do send your most recent report and, if your institution’s inspection was impacted by COVID-19, please inform ACURO.
If you have any questions about this process, contact ACURO by email at email@example.com.
The Animal Care and Use Review Office (ACURO), a component of the USAMRDC Office of Research Protections (ORP), implements the animal care and use policies of USAMRDC. While the ACURO is located organizationally at the USAMRDC in Fort Detrick, Maryland, ACURO's responsibility for laboratory animal welfare extends beyond Fort Detrick to a large number of recipients of USAMRDC managed contracts and grants involving animals.
Specific ACURO responsibilities include:
- Implementation of USAMRDC Animal Care and Use Policies
- Review of animal use proposals and protocols
- Evaluation for compliance with USAMRDC and DOD Policies and other applicable standards
- Reporting of USAMRDC animal use
- Site visits to institutions receiving USAMRMC support and funding
USAMRDC and the Department of Defense animal use policy applies to any live vertebrate animal, which is being used or is intended for use in a DOD animal care and use program or to any recipient of a USAMRDC managed contract or grant.
Requirements for Contracts, Grants and Cooperative Research and Development Agreements includes information relevant to the investigator submitting an animal use appendix to USAMRMC. As the ACURO office reviews the animal use appendix, there are common areas that frequently require additional information or clarification. We have tried to highlight those areas in this section.