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Comparative Medicine Group

Animal Husbandry and Housing

Cage cards
  1. It is a strict requirement to keep a cage card on all cages at all times.

    1. If an Investigator wishes to produce there own cage cards, the following information must be written on the card.

      • Investigator Name: The name of the PI from the protocol should be listed. You can add additional names as desired.

      • Department

      • Phone Number

      • The IACUC Protocol Number

      • DOB (Date of Birth)

      • Species, strain, and sex

      • Number of animals in pen or cage

      • Date of arrival

      • Federal ID number issued by the CMG office for animals covered under the USDA Animal Welfare Act.

  2. CMG cage cards are pre-printed cards that are attached to all incoming animal shipments. Pre-printed cage cards are available in each room for investigators housing animals there. If you require more than are being provided, please see the manager and let them know your needs. These cards are printed with all the information required by law.

Schedules for CMG Personnel
  1. CMG personnel begin work at 7:00 a.m. and depart each day by 5:00 p.m. Breaks are generally for 15 minutes each morning, and lunch is for one hour, but may vary from facility to facility. CMG husbandry staff is generally present from 4 to 6 hours per day on weekends and holidays in all facilities.

  2. In sites where hood space is limited, CMG has established a schedule for servicing the rooms. During this time interval, CMG personnel need priority access to the hood in the room. Do not ask them to vacate the hood or leave the room during this interval. Daily animal husbandry (i.e. cage changing, feeding, etc) is always completed by 12 noon. CMG personnel will be the busiest and most likely utilizing hood space during the am hours.

Standard Operating Procedures (S.O.P.s)
  1. CMG has established standard operating procedures for the people who work in the animal facilities. You are free to look at the SOPs for the animal husbandry personnel in order to better understand what service these individuals provide.

  2. If you feel that an CMG person is not following the SOPs, contact their supervisor.

  3. If you want the CMG personnel to follow a different procedure from what is stated in the SOP, you should ad this information to your CMG 90 form when you place your animal order.

Cage Changes
  1. Rats housed in conventional shoebox cages are changed once weekly, rats in ventilated racks are also changed once weekly. Mice are changed once per week, and those housed in ventilated cages are changed once every two weeks. Pens and stalls for larger animals are cleaned on a daily basis.

  2. If your room has already been serviced for the day and a cage appears to have been skipped, or if a cage needs immediate attention (for example it is flooded), contact the animal facility manager or animal caretaker. You can determine the time slot when your room is serviced by the change out tag that is hanging on the rack.

  3. If you take animals out of the facility, transfer them to a clean transport cage. Clean cages are provided on a transport rack in the hallway. Cage covers are also provided and must be used. When the transport cage is done being used please leave it at the designated dirty cage sites. Please ask an CMG employee for these locations.

Cages Without Food or Water
  1. If you find a cage without food or water, contact the person caring for the room. If they are not available, contact the animal facility manager. If you are fasting an animal for an experimental procedure, please make sure that the cages are appropriately labeled.

  2. Feed and water restriction do require prior approval by the IACUC. Water restriction is defined as water deprivation for longer than 12 hours. Food restriction is defined as food deprivation longer than 24 hours for simple stomach animals, or 48 hours for ruminants.

Environmental conditions in the room
  1. The Room Activity Sheet lists the tasks to be performed by the husbandry person each day. The husbandry person initials the form to indicate that all required tasks have been completed for the day. Not all tasks on this form are performed each day.

  2. The following environmental conditions:

    1. Room Temperatures – room temperatures are maintained at 72 degrees Fahrenheit, plus or minus 2 degrees. Because many animal room temperatures are zone controlled, it is not always possible to make adjustments for individual rooms. Zone control means the thermostat controls 3-4 rooms.

    2. Humidity – Normal humidity ranges for animal holding room's ranges from 30 to 70%. If humidity is above or below this range, the humidity will be monitored closely over the next several days to see if the humidity level returns to normal values. Corrective measures will be taken if the humidity does not return to normal.

    3. Lighting – The standard light timer is set on a 12-hour light cycle with the lights coming on at 7 am and off at 7 pm. If alternative light cycles are needed, contact the Facility Manager. If the animals are housed in a multiple user room, it may not be possible to adjust the timer for a single investigator.

Health monitoring
  1. The CMG provides veterinary oversight to all facilities, including satellite facilities. CMG husbandry personnel observe the general condition of the cage and the animals on a daily basis. Animals are closely scrutinized each week when water or caging materials are changed.

  2. If there is a specific condition or complication that you want CMG to look for in your animals, please contact one of the veterinarians or facility manager.

  3. If sick or dead animals are found, please contact one of the CMG veterinarians.

  4. The veterinary staff will contact you when an abnormal condition exists in one or more of your animals. The veterinarian will recommend an appropriate course of action depending on the condition of the animal. This recommendation may range from continued monitoring, treatment, or euthanasia. The veterinary staff is always available to discuss treatment options with the research staff, and modify clinical treatment as appropriate to maintain research integrity. The research staff is expected to contact the veterinarian regarding these recommendations within 24 hours. In cases where treatment or euthanasia has been recommended, the veterinary staff will proceed with appropriate actions to maintain humane animal care if the research staff has not responded within 12 hours.

  5. All animals found dead are placed in a bag, labeled with date/time, investigators name and animal room location. The carcass is placed in the refrigerator in Coles 237 or Mosier P216 and will be disposed of by CMG employees after 24 hours.