Animal Research

The Institutional Animal Care & Use Committee (IACUC) and the Environmental Health & Safety (EH&S) office jointly administer the Animal Care and Use Occupational Health Program (ACUOHP). This program provides a medical screening service for research personnel who may have direct contact with animals, in accordance with various regulatory agency requirements and accreditation commitments. If you have questions about enrolling in this program, please contact the Campus Biosafety Officer.

Campus Biosafety Officer

General Information

Animal Care and Use Occupational Health Program (ACUOHP)

UCSC policy requires that all faculty, staff, visiting researchers, and students who work directly with vertebrate animals, unfixed animal tissues or body fluids, and/or who work in animal housing areas, participate in the ACUOHP. The ACUOHP provides a framework for assessing and controlling potential health risks for participants in animal research protocols.

A Researchers Guide to the Animal Care and Use Occupational Health Program (ACUOHP)
Frequently Asked Questions (and answers!)

Medical Surveillance Process

Use of Live Vertebrate Animal Subjects with Contact

All UC Santa Cruz personnel, including faculty, post-docs, staff, students  (graduate and undergraduate) and volunteers, listed as working on an IACUC Use of Live Vertebrate Animal Subjects with Contact protocol, must complete the ACUOHP process for protocol approval. Non-UCSC personnel affiliated with other institutions or agencies shall be covered under their own organization's occupational health & safety program and ARE NOT required to enroll in the UCSC ACUOHP.

To enroll in the program, complete the following steps:

  1. Download Medical Surveillance Form A, Form B, and Form C.

  2. Principal Investigator and participant complete Form A (Animal Contact Risk Assessment Questionnaire).

  3. Participant completes confidential medical questionnaire Form B (Animal Contact Medical History Questionnaire) and top portion of Form C (Animal Contact Occupational Medical Surveillance).

  4. Participant sends a copy of completed Form A to EH&S via e-mail ( or mail (EH&S, Attn: Biosafety Officer, Mail Stop: EH&S Trailer)

  5. Participant places Forms A, B, and C in a sealed envelope and sends directly to the UCSC Student Health Center via mail ("Student Health Center") or via secure fax (831-459-3546).

Medical Surveillance Process Flow Chart

Form A: Animal Contact Risk Assessment Questionnaire

Form B: Animal Contact Medical History Questionnaire

Form C: Animal Contact Occupational Medical Surveillance

Questions related to the medical surveillance process and participant ACUOHP approval should be directed to or by calling 459-2553.

Observation Only or Vertebrate Sample Protocols

Submission of an Observation of Non-Human Vertebrates – No Contact protocol or a Use of Vertebrate Samples protocol to the IACUC does not require completion of Medical Surveillance Forms A, B or C (detailed in “Medical Surveillance” section) unless you are notified to do so by EH&S. Observation Only or Vertebrate Sample protocols will be reviewed by EH&S for health and safety concerns (biosafety, field safety, general safety, etc). If additional information is necessary or medical surveillance is deemed appropriate, EH&S will contact the PI directly to request details.

Questions related to the risk assessment process for Observation Only or Vertebrate Sample protocols should be directed to or by calling 459-2553.

Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC)

UCSC Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee

Follow this link for information on the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC), including application forms and procedures.

Exposure Incident Response

In the event of a serious accident, injury, or illness call 911.

Medical Incident

Bites and Scratches

CDC Rabies Post-exposure Guidelines

Fact Sheets & Links

Rabies Fact Sheets

CDC Recommendations - Human Rabies Prevention

CDC Rabies Vaccine - What You Need to Know

Rabies Information from the California Department of Public Health (many useful links)

The Center for Food Security and Public Health (Iowa State University)

Animal Disease Information

Information on Zoonotic Diseases - UCSB Office of Research

Zoonotic Diseases