Report Animal Concerns

Lessons Learned from Winter 2022 Semi-Annual Facility Inspections

Drugs Facilities Guidelines Husbandry IACUC Policies 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 2022 semi-annual facility inspections.

The IACUC began its latest round of semi-annual facility inspections on Tuesday, August 2, 2022.

Inspections will run through mid-September and include any animal rooms, surgical suite support spaces, and areas where procedures are conducted with animals.

Common Deficiency Areas** Identified During Winter 2022 Inspections:

Examples:

  • Expired materials, drugs, and substances found
  • Materials and substances, including chemical hazards, not appropriately labeled

Suggestions for Improvement:

Examples:

  • Anesthetic machines or anesthetic canisters were not properly maintained
  • Compressed gas cylinders not properly stored
  • Eyewash stations not properly maintained
  • Engineering controls (BSC, fume hoods, LEV) not certified annually

Suggestions for Improvement:

  • Review the Policy on Maintaining Anesthetic Machines and Vaporizers, which states that anesthetic machines/vaporizers must be manually assessed at yearly intervals to ensure high-quality anesthesia for research animals and a safe working environment for personnel
  • Utilize ULAM services for quarterly anesthetic machine servicing and certification
  • 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

  • Sanitation practices for all lab equipment that comes into direct contact with animals were not established and/or equipment was soiled
  • Additional enrichment items lacking for singly-housed animals

Suggestions for Improvement:

Examples:

  • Monitoring sheets (post-operative, drug usage) were not available or incomplete
  • Surgical equipment inadequately prepared (i.e., not properly sterilized)

Suggestions for Improvement:

Examples:

  • Walls, floors, or furniture required repair
  • Water leakage was noted
  • Labs and storage areas found to be cluttered

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
  • Select one or two lab members to regularly review, and be responsible for, housekeeping items/tasks

**Percentages above represent the number of overall deficient findings in a given area (e.g., Physical Plant & Maintenance – 5% denotes that, of the total findings identified during Winter 2022 semi-annual facility inspections, 5% 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 acuoffice@umich.edu or (734) 763-8028.

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