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University Committee on Animal Resources (UCAR)

What's New

Information for New Investigators Who Use Animals in Research or Teaching -

A new page has been added as a resource for new Investigators. You can access it under the "Animal Use Protocols" heading on the left hand side navigation of this website. It outlines transferring a grant, transferring animals, animal use protocols, required training, grant informationcontact information, and suggested references that will be useful to all incoming investigators new to the University of Rochester.

Rodent Surgery and Analgesic Records-

After the AAALAC Accreditation visit in June 2014, it was suggested that UCAR review the documentation for the administration of anesthesia and analgesia related to survival rodent/bird surgeries.  If you perform recovery rodent or bird surgery in your laboratory or within the vivarium, you must fill out one of the green “Be Gentle-Post-Op” cards with all the required information (date, ID#, UCAR #, Procedure Date, analgesic administration) along with reasons you stopped analgesic therapy.  You should retain these cards unless you have the same information listed in a lab notebook.  UCAR will be looking for this information during laboratory visits.  AAALAC, Int. will review this information when they visit next in 2017.  One of the most common analgesics used for major invasive recovery surgeries is buprenorphine (a controlled substance) and the dosing recommendation is every 6-12 hours in mice and every 6-8 hours in rats.  Analgesic therapy and all exemptions to UCAR policies must be reviewed and approved by UCAR. See the Policy Page.

Social Housing and Environmental Enrichment.  What to Expect on November 1, 2014 -

Social housing and the provision of environmental enrichment practices are considered the default for housing laboratory animals in a research setting.  The Animal Resource Management developed a “sticker” system to easily identify research animals who may be individually housed due to:

1. Single pregnant female prior to birth of pups or male breeder animal  (green dot- BR)

2. Aggressive animal  removed from cage (red dot- AGR)

3. Last animal  left from a cohort or only animal of a gender weaned from a litter (blue dot-LAST)

These three stickers are available in the animal housing rooms. Please place the appropriate sticker on your animal’s cage.   The conditions described (above) DO NOT have to be described in the UCAR Protocol.

Exemptions to the Policy (all species) such as animals housed alone due to experimental reasons; animals that cannot receive standard enrichment or individual animals that cannot receive enhanced enrichment (more than nestlets including little houses) must be justified in the UCAR protocol.  Investigators and their staff should request the “SOLO and NO ENRICH” stickers from UCAR by submitting a Special Request form or  Once a request for these two stickers have been received, UCAR will verify that exemptions to social housing and enrichment are reviewed and approved by UCAR.

The Online Animal Ordering form has been updated as well so that you can provide information about exemptions to the Animal Resource Enrichment Plan.  As in the past, you also indicate if animals are housed one per cage.   All exemptions to enrichment and individually housing of animals will be verified and if not described you will be asked to modify your protocol. 

To assess where we are with individual housing and enrichment, starting November 1, 2014, the animal care technicians will submit an Animal Observation form indicating that animals are housed alone or do not have enrichment.  The DLAM Animal Behaviorist and/or UCAR will follow up with the investigator regarding the situation and if indicated UCAR will request a Modification to update the protocol for individual housing or no enrichment.  This information should be placed in the non standard housing section of the UCAR protocol.

As we adjust to the new system, please contact UCAR or a DLAM veterinarian with your questions.  We have received many great questions.  As always we appreciate your care and dedication to great science and the humane care and use of our research animals.