Changes to ULAM Animal Husbandry Staffing Go Into Effect April 13, 2020

April 10, 2020

Calendar icon showing modifications to husbandry staffing and scheduling structureCentral to the Unit for Laboratory Animal Medicine (ULAM)’s mission is a commitment to service, integrity, and collaboration in support of innovative research to benefit both human and animal health. This partnership is now more important than ever as we work together to explore the critical role that animal models will continue to play in the development of treatments and therapies to overcome the many health challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic.

In the spirit of this important partnership, we wanted to provide an update on modifications to our existing ULAM husbandry staffing and scheduling structure.

Consistent with practices that are already in place on the clinical side, we will initiate the division of husbandry staff into two teams effective Monday, April 13, 2020.

At the forefront of this decision is our continued commitment to protecting the health, safety, and well-being of our entire community. We are confident that these modifications will allow us to maintain the same high standards of animal welfare, while further safeguarding our animal care staff from the spread of COVID-19.

To increase the efficiency of staff time, the following specific tasks will be modified beginning April 13:

  • Change-out for rodent microisolator tops and racks (not caging) will be suspended until further notice
  • Change-out frequency for rodent feeders and singly-housed mouse cages will be extended from biweekly to monthly
    (or more frequently on an as-needed basis)
  • Static mouse cages will be changed once weekly (or more frequently on an as-needed basis)
  • Rat cages that are normally changed once weekly will be transitioned to biweekly
    (or more frequently on an as-needed basis)
  • Rabbit cage pan-liners will be changed as-needed
  • Sweeping, mopping, dusting, and polishing activities will only be performed as-needed
  • Empty rooms will only be checked weekly

While we expect that these changes will have little to no impact on animal welfare or ongoing projects, we feel it is imperative to share this information with you in the interest of full transparency.

Should you have any questions or concerns about how these modifications may affect any of your ongoing studies or day-to-day operations during the ramp down in research operations, please contact the ULAM Husbandry Management Team at

Our team is available on campus and remotely to provide ongoing support for your research and the animals entrusted to our care.

As always, our top priority is, and always will be, ensuring that the highest animal welfare standards are maintained at all times and in all circumstances.