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IACUC Memo to Investigators - Jan 2013

Dear investigator,

The IUP IACUC is pleased to offer our IUP research community another of our IACUC "Memos to Investigators", an irregular email series used to provide updates and information we hope will be useful to our research community.

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01)  Updated Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals

Developed by scientists and experts in animal husbandry and welfare, this Guide is one of the 'gold standard' references for the care and use of animals.  Its purpose is to enable local administrators, IACUC's, and researchers themselves to maintain the highest levels of animal care possible.  First produced in 1963, the Guide was last revised (to the 7th edition) in 1996.  Now, an updated 8th edition is available.
 
The new, 8th edition of this Guide is now available online, free of charge, from the National Academy of Sciences website:

http://www.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=12910#toc

A searchable PDF version can be found on the NIH website, at:

http://grants.nih.gov/grants/olaw/Guide-for-the-Care-and-Use-of-Laboratory-Animals.pdf

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02)  2012 USDA inspection - passed

IUP was visited by an inspector from the USDA in May of 2012, who conducted reviews of the IACUC, the investigator protocols currently on file, as well as the Weyandt animal facility itself.  While our inspector offered suggestions from improved performance (as usual), we did pass the inspection with no violations.  Thank you all for your efforts in maintaining our federal compliance.

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03)  USDA annual reporting completed

In October of 2012, all current and recent investigators were asked to report their animal usage for compilation into our annual report of animal usage, which was due to the USDA by 01 Dec.  Our report was successfully submitted - thank you all for your cooperation.

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04)  New USDA emergency plan requirement

The USDA has instituted a new policy, which requires that all Animal Welfare Act (AWA)-certified facilities (including IUP) prepare a contingency plan for the handling of housed animals in the event of an emergency (including interruption of facilities, as could occur during an environmental catastrophe or other event).  The original press release is available at

http://www.aphis.usda.gov/newsroom/2012/12/contingency_rule.shtml

The Federal Register announcement of the new rule is available at

http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2012-12-31/pdf/2012-31422.pdf

The first part of this latter document is discussion/interpretation of the new rule and its genesis; the actual text of the amended regulation is on the last two pages.

A quick review of this document suggests that the plan which IUP develops will involve both University facilities management (in terms of electrical/air/water/heat supplies and management) as well as individual investigators (in terms of emergency housing/care of animals).  Because we have no animal facility staff, it would be up to individual investigators to provide emergency animal care (as they already provide routine animal care).

At present, IUP houses no AWA-regulated species in University facilities, although our facility is under AWA license.  All investigators housing animals in University facilities should begin thinking about how they would provide care to their animals in the event of an emergency, in terms of

- basic provisioning of food/water
- maintenance of environment (light/heat/air)
- conditions which might necessitate the relocation of your animals
- the means by which your animals could be relocated, and an emergency housing location
- sustained security throughout all phases of emergency animal handling 

The IUP IACUC soon will begin discussion of how best to implement a contingency plan; it is anticipated that each investigator housing animals will be asked to contribute.

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As always, the IACUC is here to serve our IUP research community.  Please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions or concerns.

IACUC web page:  http://www.iup.edu/iacuc

Questions or concerns?  Email them to iacuc-info@iup.edu

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