If you breed your own research animals, you may have noticed that newly formatted breeding sheets have begun to appear in animal rooms. The new sheets apply to all species that are barcoded and bred in-house, and include columns not only for weaned animals, but also for young animals that were euthanized or died prior to weaning.
ULAM Husbandry Staff will be recording any pre-weanling animals that are found dead in their home cages in one of these columns. Later this year, we will also ask labs to begin recording the number of pre-weanling animals they euthanize in the other new column.
Why This Change?
The NIH is interested in knowing how many animals are utilized to answer research questions, which includes all animals bred for research. The number of animals in and of itself is neither good nor bad, simply an honest and transparent representation of the number of animals your science required.
Our current processes only deduct animals from an approved animal use protocol when the animals are ordered, transferred, or weaned; however, this does not accurately reflect all animals bred for research. The new form will streamline the capture of more accurate numbers with a minimal change to existing business processes.
When Will The Change Take Effect?
We encourage labs to begin practicing recording this information on their weaning sheets, and to reach out to ULAM Staff with any questions or concerns about how the sheets should be completed. By beginning to practice now, labs will be able to more accurately assess how the full implementation process will ultimately affect the number of animals they will need to add to their animal use protocol.
Regular updates and additional educational resources on these new processes will be provided in the coming weeks and months. Should you have any immediate questions or concerns about how the newly formatted breeding sheets may impact your research, please consult with your ULAM Faculty Veterinarian or contact your Research Compliance Associate.
As the nation’s top public research university, we must continue to pursue new means of increasing institutional transparency. More accurate reporting on the number of animals being used to answer scientific questions of public import is one of the ways we can achieve this goal. We thank you for your partnership in this process.