Animal Holding in Investigator Laboratories

Purpose

In order to ensure a safe environment for both employees of the Health Center, and the laboratory animals, the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) has implemented a policy regarding the holding of animals outside of the main Center for Comparative Medicine (CCM) animal facility in the Health Center.

Action

1. Animals must be transported from the animal housing room to the PI laboratory in closed caging (either microisolator lids or soft bonnet type covers) where appropriate (e.g., rodent caging).

2. Animals may only be held in the PI laboratory for ≤12 hours if it is USDA-regulated species or ≤24 hours if it is any other species without prior IACUC approval. The housing of animals outside the animal facility for >12 hours is discouraged and it should be approved on a case-by-case basis requiring scientific and/or medical justification and prior approval by the IACUC.

3. Animals must be held in a laboratory room that has been listed on the PI’s approved Animal Care and Use Protocol. In addition, if animals are to be kept unsupervised in the PI laboratory, the doors to the laboratory must be kept closed and locked. If animals are held in the laboratory for >12 hours, a log showing daily checks, temperature, and humidity must be maintained. CCM will provide the template for required daily animal checks. Further:

  • Light must be maintained 12:12 light/dark cycle;
  • The cage card must contain all the required information;
  • Feed, bedding, water bottle, and cages can be obtained from the CCM animal facility and should be changed weekly. Husbandry practices should be followed as if they are housed in the animal facility;
  • Dirty bedding should be disposed of in closed biohazard trash bags;
  • The animal may not be returned to the animal facility without prior permission; and
  • The facility must be available for CCM animal care/IACUC staff at all times.

4. Animals involved in experiments that use hazardous materials or organisms which are required to be housed in the PI laboratory are to be removed from CCM facilities, transported to, and held in the PI laboratory in accordance with additional specific instructions in the safety protocol governing the hazardous work approved by the Biological Safety Officer and the IACUC.

5. Animal caging (with or without animals) may NOT be placed, unsupervised, in the hallways.

6. Any laboratory in which animals are held without IACUC approval will forfeit the privilege of bringing animals into the laboratory for 3 months.  All procedures must be performed in the animal facility for that period of time on all animals.

Effective Dates:   August 31, 2017 through July 31, 2020