November 23, 2014

IACUC Regulations

Regulations regarding the procurement and use of vertebrate animals for research at the MBL

As required by NIH guidelines, all research involving the use of vertebrate animals (mammal, bird, amphibian, reptile, fish and fertile vertebrate eggs) and their parasites must have a protocol approved by the MBL Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) before the research can begin. Please completely fill out an Initial Application, Annual Renewal Application, or an Application for the Use of Parasites and submit it to the IACUC Chairperson three (3) weeks before the research is slated to begin. The Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee will review the animal use protocols and report their status to you. Important: Type or print clearly on the forms, answering all applicable questions in detail. Incomplete or illegible applications will cause delays in processing your request.

Be aware that before any vertebrate animals from another institution can be accepted into an MBL managed animal facility, in addition to an approved protocol, their arrival must be preceded by a health certificate signed by the veterinarian from the home institution certifying each animal’s lack of infection or prior exposure to disease-causing organisms. The certification for warm-blooded laboratory animals must be based upon the results of gross necropsy, and bacteriological, serological, histological and parasitological screenings. Researchers studying vertebrate parasites must simultaneously submit a separate application for the use of parasites. NOTE: By regulation, animals arriving without prior notification or health certification must be immediately destroyed.

All vertebrate animals require an approved protocol before they may be purchased. Protocols are good for one (1) year from the date of approval. Animals must be ordered far enough in advance to allow for quarantine and observation time (normally 48 hours) prior to their use. Please refer to the Purchasing Procedures for additional information.

Laboratory Animal Facility Regulations:

  1. When any animal is removed from the MBL’s Laboratory Animal Facility, it must be signed out. If the animal is returned (only with approval of procedures by the IACUC and the veterinarian), please sign it back in on the same sheet. Please fill this sheet out completely. Record all other daily activity on the cage card. Additionally, if any animals are removed for euthanasia, please write “sacrificed” and number euthanized on the cage card and the sign out sheet along with the date.
  2. When an animal undergoes any invasive procedure (i.e. injections, etc.), please indicate this on the cage card. Please include the procedure type, substances injected, the amount, and area in which the procedure occurred. If these animals will need special care, please notify the animal care technician one weekday before returning them to the facility. Post-operative care procedures are expected to be part of approved animal use protocols but will incure an additional charge.
  3. No animal can be kept outside of the facility longer than twenty four (24) hours. If the animal will not be sacrificed within twenty four (24) hours, please return it to the facility prior to that time. Spot checks for compliance with this rule will be made.
  4. Approximately two (2) weeks before your departure date from the MBL, you must contact Animal Care (508-289-7288) to discuss the disposition of any unused animals.
  5. Transportation and confinement cages are provided for use between the facility and the laboratory. Please use them and not the cage in which the animal is being housed.
  6. Animals euthanized in terminal procedures must be double-bagged and labeled with your name, room number, phone extension, type of animal, number of animals and date of death. Carcasses must be deposited in the chest freezer located in the alcove of the basement lobby in Loeb; these bags will be periodically picked up and incinerated. Questions concerning disposal of animals or tissues may be directed to the Safety Officer (508-289-7424).
  7. If you need a key to the Animal Facility, one will be signed out to you by the animal care technician. After you have finished using the facility, please return the key.
  8. Charges for the care and housing of research animals are made on a per diem basis, billed to your account, and submitted to the Accounting Office once a month. Please contact the Veterinarian if you have questions regarding per diem animal care charges.
  9. Please help us by complying with these regulations which, although an additional burden to you, are necessary to maintain our facility’s approval by the NIH and USDA, and to maintain order. Your failure to comply could mean loss of funding for our research and courses.

If you have any problems or concerns, please inform us. It will help us to correct and improve the facility. Thank you for your cooperation.

Alan M. Kuzirian, Ph.D., Chairman, MBL IACUC