Report Animal Concerns

Lessons Learned from Winter 2024 Semi-Annual Facility Inspections

Facilities Guidelines Husbandry IACUC Safety

The Institutional Animal Care & Use Committee (IACUC) completed its latest round of semi-annual facility inspections in mid-March.

These inspections are one of the most important tools we have for routinely assessing programmatic strengths and identifying areas for individual and collective improvement(s) in service to the animals entrusted to our care.

Through this lens of shared responsibility for safeguarding animal welfare and ensuring continued programmatic compliance, please review and discuss the findings, suggestions for improvement, and resources below with all members of your staff – including any students involved with research in your lab – in advance of Fall 2024 semi-annual facility inspections.

The Fall 2024 Semi-Annual IACUC Facility Inspection Schedule will be released later this year.

Semi-annual facility inspections include any animal rooms, surgical suite support spaces, and areas where procedures are conducted with animals.

Inspection schedules and reminders will be sent to each PI/Study Team member based on the buildings/rooms on animal use protocol(s) in eRAM. Inspection notices and reminders are automatically sent by eRAM at 2-week and 4-day intervals leading up to the assigned inspection date.

Common Deficiency Areas** Identified During Winter 2024 Inspections:

Examples:

  • Compressed gas cylinders not properly stored
  • Eyewash stations not properly maintained
  • Engineering controls (BSC, fume hoods, LEV) not certified annually

Suggestions for Improvement:

  • Download and review EHS Compressed Gas Guidelines and SOPs, which outline that storage of compressed gas cylinders requires sturdy chains or straps secured to a wall or cabinet, and/or use of a cylinder stand
  • Contact EHS at (734) 647-1143 for assistance with annual hood certification. Additional guidance is also available on the EHS website

Examples:

  • Post-operative records incomplete or not properly maintained
  • Materials and substances, including chemical hazards, not appropriately labeled
  • Anesthetic machines/canisters not properly maintained

Suggestions for Improvement:

Examples

  • Areas cluttered and generally unkempt

Suggestions for Improvement:

  • Create and maintain a regular cleaning schedule
  • Select one or two lab members to regularly review, and be responsible for, housekeeping items/tasks

Examples

  • Sanitation practices for all lab equipment that comes into direct contact with animals were not established and/or equipment was soiled

Suggestions for Improvement:

Examples:

  • Walls, floors, or furniture required repair

Suggestions for Improvement:

  • Work with your ULAM Husbandry Supervisor yellow lock icon and/or Plant Operations staff to address any service or facility repairs in a timely manner

**Percentages above represent the number of overall deficient findings in a given area (e.g., Physical Plant & Maintenance – 10% denotes that, of the total findings identified during Winter 2024 semi-annual facility inspections, 10% were related to physical plant and maintenance).

Questions?

Questions or concerns about semi-annual IACUC facility inspections, or any of the items outlined above, should be directed to the Animal Care & Use Office at [email protected] or (734) 763-8028.

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