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STRI Animal Care and Use Committee (STRI ACUC)

(The Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute acknowledges and accepts responsibility for the care and use of animals, and seeks to conduct animal activities with the highest respect for animal well-being)

In compliance with Smithsonian Directive 605, all Smithsonian Institution Employees and Affiliated Persons (Visiting researchers, scientists, scholars, students, volunteers, interns and fellows) whose research and collecting activities involving live vertebrates (fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals) must obtain prior approval from STRI Animal Care and Use Committee.

NOTE: Your home university/institution protocol IS NOT valid at STRI as there are STRI-specific issues that must be addressed locally, such as pressures from multiple research groups on local populations, the spread of zoonotic disease, local animal facility use, etc.

To apply for approval of your research and collecting activities involving live vertebrates, you MUST include the following in your application package:

  1. Protocol for the Humane Use of Live Vertebrates duly completed in Spanish or English.
  2. Proof of IACUC training by Principal Investigators
    All principle investigators working with live vertebrates must completed an IACUC training course (online training module). Anyone who has an approved IACUC protocol from another US institution has likely taken this course already. If this is the case, you do not need to take the Smithsonian IACUC training course. The course is valid for three years and then must be followed by a refresher course.
    Principle investigators are responsible for training the students and collaborators on their project on the animal care protocols that pertain to their particular project.
  3. If your work involves tagging or collaring vertebrate animals (e.g., radio-tagging, harnessing or collaring), you MUST also include in your application package, a Supplemental Protocol for Tagging/Collaring duly completed in Spanish or English.
  4. If you have an approved STRI ACUC protocol but need to make changes in personnel, study species, methodology or research site, you MUST submit the ACUC Project Amendment Form duly completed in Spanish or English.
  5. If you have been granted a permit from the STRI Animal Care and Use Committee, you MUST include in your application package, an Annual Report duly completed in Spanish or English.

WARNING: STRI ACUC protocols are valid for three years. At the end of each year, you MUST submit a brief annual report. You will receive a reminder one month prior to the date your annual report is due. Your protocol will not be considered valid unless all annual reports have been received. New protocols will not be processed until all annual reports are received.

NOTE: ACUC protocols are reviewed as they are received. Turnaround time takes an average of two weeks. Because STRI will not process the Ministry of Environment (MiAmbiente) scientific research permit application until ACUC protocols are approved, we ask that you please submit your protocol at least four months in advance of the start date of your research to ensure sufficient time for all permit processing.

Current members of STRI’s Animal Care and Use Committee include Rachel Page, staff scientist and chair; Patrick Jansen, staff scientist and head of the CTFS-SIGEO mammal survey project; Raineldo Urriola, STRI scientific coordinator; Oris Acevedo, STRI scientific coordinator; Vilma Fernandez, STRI administrative coordinator; José Ramón Perurena, STRI safety officer; Lil Camacho, STRI Scientific Permit Technician; Bridget Warren, representative from the local community; and Diorene Smith, STRI affiliated veterinarian and veterinarian at Summit Nature Park.

The ACUC Committee can take up to 30 working days to approve your protocol request. We therefore recommend that you submit your ACUC protocol request at least 4 months prior to the planned start of your fieldwork.

Please send the duly completed ACUC application package to:

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