April 20, 2016

On Monday, April 11, the Animal Care & Use Leadership team submitted a two-month status report to the AAALAC Council on Accreditation.

In addition to outlining the many milestones and programmatic updates achieved by U-M's Animal Care & Use Program in recent months, the report also underscored the University's ongoing commitment to achieving sustained excellence in animal care and use.
Featured programmatic updates:
  • As a companion to the mini-retreat held by IACUC in March, future protocol review workshops are being scheduled for IACUC members, alternates, veterinarians, and IACUC staff. Regular training sessions have also been added to the monthly IACUC meetings and have included topics such as: literature searches, sample size and power analysis, and continuing discussion on the roles and responsibilities of staff, veterinarians, and IACUC members for protocol reviews.
  • The program continues to reduce inconsistencies in standards of care by actively working to align all animal husbandry under one single provider for accountability, the Unit for Laboratory Animal Medicine (ULAM). As part of its ongoing efforts to enhance husbandry care and service, the program has recently hired two new husbandry supervisors: Joe Sanders and Travis Stein. Positions for additional supervisors, an aquatics manager, and a document specialist have also been posted.
  • Partnering with the Associate Vice President for Facilities and Operations to resolve outstanding maintenance and HVAC issues in animal facilities, including an analysis of facility maintenance performance for all animal areas throughout the University. In the past two months, this has resulted in a reduction of over 50% of outstanding maintenance issues, including temperature and humidity issues.
  • A strengthened partnership with the office of Occupational Safety and Environmental Health, which includes additional staff support for a priority focus on animal care and use, as well as enhancements to the medical surveillance program for high-risk personnel under the direction of the occupational safety physician.

Latest Animal Care & Use Program Activities:
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Policy & Procedure Updates

As of Friday, April 15, compliance with new requirements in analgesics, aseptic surgical practices, and surgical record retention is now expected. Thank you to all who have reached out with any questions or concerns, and to those who have already begun complying with these new standards.
A list of other guidelines that have recently been updated, including
bullet points detailing how each of the guidelines has changed,
are outlined below:
Tail Biopsy Policy Updates
  • Tail biopsy in rodents > 3 weeks old has been removed as an example of a Type 1 surgical procedure from the U-M IACUC Policy on Analgesia in Animals Undergoing Surgery. As tail biopsy is not a true surgical procedure it will not require the use of sterile gloves, nor will it require the creation of post-surgical care records. 
The following policies have also been updated:
These three policies were all updated in the same manner:
  1. Addition of species-appropriate surgical record example
  2. Updated to reflect changes in record retention policy
  3. Changes for consistency across the three non-mammalian guidelines 
  • Updated to harmonize with other mammalian anesthesia and analgesia guidelines
  • Drug dosages and references updated 
Questions or concerns about these or other policies and procedures should be directed to ULAM-QUESTIONS@umich.edu or (734) 764-0177.
Animal Research Spotlight

Scientists and doctors have long wanted to know how much insulin a person has, but haven't been able to know the exact amount without physically removing the pancreas from a deceased patient for review. But a new study in the journal Diabetes details how a group of researchers was finally able to visualize stored insulin in the pancreas of a living creature -- in this case, a mouse. Read more here.
For more information about the Animal Care & Use Program at the University of Michigan, CLICK HERE.
Our mission in the Animal Care & Use Office is to support the Institutional Animal Care & Use Committee, fostering sustained excellence in animal care and use in scientific research and education, and promoting the philosophy that the highest animal welfare standards are necessary for impactful science.