Standard on Reporting and Veterinary Care for Research Animals

Title

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Standard on Reporting and Veterinary Care for Research Animals

Introduction

Purpose

The standards and procedures described below provide guidance to all researchers and animal handlers to ensure that sick animals are identified and adequate veterinary care is provided to all animals utilized in our research program.

Scope of Applicability

All personnel engaged in the use and care of research animals.

The UNC-CH Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) expects that anyone involved in animal work at the University will comply with this Standard. Requests for exceptions to this Standard must be reviewed and approved by the IACUC.

Standard

Research staff must notify Division of Comparative Medicine (DCM) of all sick or injured animals. The DCM veterinary staff will provide veterinary care/oversight for all animals used in research at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. This provision also extends to clinical abnormalities believed to be the result of experimental manipulations unless these conditions, and the appropriate therapeutic interventions, have been defined and approved by the IACUC Animal Care and Use protocol review process. If the abnormalities are part of the expected phenotype of the animal, this should be described in the protocol and approved by the IACUC. If DCM veterinarians recommend procedural changes, the investigator must submit the revised regimen for review and approval by the IACUC. It is expected that lab members respond to DCM communications regarding animal health questions and follow through with humane endpoint deadlines in a timely manner.

DCM should also be notified of all unexpected deaths in a timely fashion, so that appropriate diagnostic work-up can be performed. Necropsy of all unexpected deaths in US Department of Agriculture covered species is desirable. Please bring this matter to the attention of your staff, and we look forward to your cooperation and collaboration.

The DCM veterinary staff can be reached by calling 919-962-5335. Please call this number for non-emergency cases. If you have a veterinary emergency, you can call the DCM veterinary services pager (919-216-1235) and enter a phone number at which the responder can reach you when you hear the tone.

DCM Employee Identification of Sick Animal:

  1. Place a green Health Check on the animal’s cage and enter the specific cage card number and identified problem into the Vet Care computer system.
  2. If the sick animal requires immediate veterinary care, the LAT calls the veterinary technician office at 919-966-2906 or pages the veterinarian or veterinary technician on-call at 919-216-1235.

Researcher Identification of Sick Animal:

  1. Place a green Heath Check card (located in the black card file box or in a drawer in the cart in the animal room) on the cage with the health problem noted on the card.
  2. Directly contact the veterinary technician office at 919-966-2906 or notify the laboratory animal technician (LAT) responsible for that room. If a researcher is unable to contact either of these in person the researcher should call the veterinary services pager at 919-216-1235, rather than leaving a voicemail message. The veterinary technician or LAT will then enter the information into the Vet Care computer system.
  3. If it is an emergency, the researcher must page the veterinarian or veterinary technician on-call at 919-216-1235. The researcher should supply the following information: condition of the animal, investigator name, building name, room number, and the rack where the animal is located.

Once alerted, a veterinary technician will examine the animal in question according to Veterinary Services SOP and contact the laboratory to discuss diagnostic and treatment plan. This contact may be by phone using the lab number provided on the room contact sheet, by email using the list of laboratories who have provided their lab email, or verbally if the responsible person is in the room. Veterinarians and veterinary technicians are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to address animal health concerns.

Please do not remove the green or red Vet Care cards from the cage. It is the responsibility of the veterinary technician to assess, resolve the animal case, and remove the cards from the cage unless removed by laboratory personnel for euthanasia or experimental use. Once the animal is euthanized or used experimentally, the laboratory personnel performing the procedure should date and initial the card and place the card in the designated location within the animal room. The veterinary technicians collect the cards and enter the date and resolution of the case into the Vet Care computer system.

REMEMBER, the red Vet Care card is a veterinary medical record, please do not dispose or remove this medical record from the animal room.

Exceptions

Requests for exceptions to this Standard must be reviewed and approved by the IACUC.

Definitions

IACUC: Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee

DCM: Division of Comparative Medicine

University Standard: The minimum acceptable limits or rules used to achieve Policy implementation, enforceable by the IACUC.

LAT: Laboratory Animal Technician

USDA: United States Department of Agriculture

Related Requirements

External Regulations and Consequences

University Policies, Standards, and Procedures

For more detailed guidance, please refer to the University Policy on the Care and Use of Vertebrate Animals for Research, Training and Teaching Purposes.

Contact Information

Contact Information Table
Subject Contact Telephone
Animal Health Division of Comparative Medicine 919-962-5335
IACUC Protocol Office of Animal Care and Use 919-966-5569

Important Dates

  • Effective Date and title of Approver: 12/20108; UNC IACUC
  • Revision and Review Dates, Change notes, title of Reviewer or Approver: Merged ‘Veterinary Care for Research Animals’ 10/15/2003 with ‘Standard Operating Procedure for Reporting Sick Animals’ 07/09/2010 on 12/2018; UNC IACUC

Approved by: UNC IACUC

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Details

Article ID: 132208
Created
Thu 4/8/21 9:26 PM
Modified
Tue 7/20/21 5:49 PM
Effective Date
If the date on which this document became/becomes enforceable differs from the Origination or Last Revision, this attribute reflects the date on which it is/was enforcable.
10/21/2020 12:00 AM
Issuing Officer
Name of the document Issuing Officer. This is the individual whose organizational authority covers the policy scope and who is primarily responsible for the policy.
Issuing Officer Title
Title of the person who is primarily responsible for issuing this policy.
Vice Chancellor for Research
Last Review
Date on which the most recent document review was completed.
10/21/2020 12:00 AM
Last Revised
Date on which the most recent changes to this document were approved.
10/21/2020 12:00 AM
Origination
Date on which the original version of this document was first made official.
09/16/2019 12:00 AM
Responsible Unit
School, Department, or other organizational unit issuing this document.
Research-Institutional Animal Care & Use Committee