Please see below for the latest updates from the IACUC Office. There are times when a research study requires the need for different animal housing or husbandry care than the standard DLAM care. Examples include, but are not limited to: a special diet, a restricted diet, alternative lighting, and special caging. If you need special care for your animals as part of your research project, you will need to make both the IACUC and DLAM aware. Read below for details on how to properly do so.
For IACUC Review
In the Experiments section of the protocol form in the GRAMS system, you will identify any Husbandry Exceptions in Part 12. Exception types include: Alternative Lighting, Enrichment Waiver, Individual Housing, Investigator Maintained Animals, Irradiated Feed / Bedding, Medicated Water, Metabolic Caging, Special Bedding / Cage Requirement, Special Diet, Special Light Cycle, Static Caging, Sterilized Caging, or Other (you will be required to provide specifics in the Description/ Justification box).
Once the Exception type is identified, the next part allows you to describe the exception and provide a scientific justification for the need to include this exception in the protocol. Please note that cost or convenience is never an acceptable justification. If you plan to feed the animals a special diet, the description should include a statement indicating if the special diet is nutritionally balanced. If the diet is not nutritionally balanced, the justification would need to include any effects the diet might have on the animal.
If food/water will need to be restricted for the study, this will need to be addressed in a procedure, as additional information. The length of restriction would also need to be provided.
For DLAM Notification
Any time that special care is needed, DLAM should be notified through the Special Care Form, submitted to the DLAM email box, at least one business day prior to the special care going into effect.
Once the special care goes into effect, you will need to place the special care cage card on the cage of the animals. There are two kinds of special care cards:
A Yellow Special Care by PI Cage Card: Used for animals in which the special care is given by the PI.
A Teal Special Feed / Water Cage Card: Indicates that DLAM will use special feed or water provided by the PI to care for the animals.
These special care cage cards can be found in the animal facility. You may ask the DLAM staff for assistance in locating these cards.
Please note that any other special arrangement for DLAM services must be communicated to the DLAM Facility Manager before going into effect.
There are times when adjustments may be needed for the welfare of the animal. For example, separating out cage mates due to fighting. These types of adjustments will be communicated to the PI before being implemented.
Updated IACUC SOPs
IACUC SOPs are reviewed on a triennial basis, which allows opportunities for us to re-evaluate and make changes / updates as needed. Below, we’ve provided a few of the recently approved SOPs, explaining the changes / updates made:
IACUC SOP 018: Prolonged Physical Restraint
- Please note that any time an animal is restrained for > 10 minutes, a justification will need to be provided. Please note that all restraint will need to be described within the IACUC protocol, regardless of the restraint type (manual, device) or the duration. The description should include the reason for the restraint (i.e., substance administration, blood withdrawal), the restraint type (i.e., manual, device), the duration (the length of time an animal is restrained), and the frequency in which the animal is restrained, along with the maximum number of times a single animal could experience restraint.
IACUC SOP 028: Special Care (Formerly Food and Water Restriction)
- This SOP was updated to clarify the process for notifying DLAM when special care is needed. Please ensure to send the Special Care Form (found on the DLAM Website) to the DLAM email, at least one business day prior to initiating the special care. Also, once ready to initiate, please be sure to use the appropriate care cage card.
IACUC SOP 031: Reporting and Investigating Noncompliance
IACUC SOP 036: Anesthesia in Laboratory Animals
- This SOP remains unchanged.
Please find past IACUC Announcements here: IACUC Announcement Archive
If you have any questions about these resources/updates, please contact the IACUC office at firstname.lastname@example.org