Problem statement: IACUCs are operating to standardize results, maximize the benefit, and minimize the demerit resulting from the use of animals in experimental studies. This is done by overseeing the implementation of the 3Rs concept, reviewing research programs and protocols, inspecting animal facilities, and evaluating animal care programs. Many factors affect the effectiveness and performance of the IACUC, such as heavy workloads, the reviewing process, lack of participation of members, committee composition and dynamics, method of recruitment of members, etc. In Egypt, three years have elapsed since the establishment of the first IACUC in the Faculty of Science at Cairo University. Since that time, several others have been established. The objectives of this study were to evaluate the current performance of some Egyptian IACUCs to improve their effectiveness.
Description of research: Members of IACUCs at three Egyptian universities answered a questionnaire to learn about their range of experience, the number and type of protocols reviewed, size of committee, method of choosing members, and the dynamics of the committee. All committees reviewed proposals for biomedical research, teaching, and testing. A simple questionnaire was developed and distributed among all committee members. Questions were open-ended and posed in such a way to allow members to reflect and elaborate on points that they considered to be important. The questionnaire was descriptive in nature, and included both qualitative and quantitative questions. The questionnaire was designed by three IACUC members and adjusted on the basis of their feedback. Where possible, participants were selected to include the different types of committee members at each university.