-----Original Message-----
From: Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee <[log in to unmask]> On Behalf Of Vasquez,Kaetlin
Sent: Friday, March 20, 2020 12:39 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: IACUC Covid-19 Updates
Importance: High

On behalf of the IACUC we are writing to share several important updates and required changes regarding your research projects involving animals amid the rapidly changing COVID-19 situation. We understand that this is a challenging time and we are committed to supporting your research while protecting the health, safety and wellbeing of our entire research community and the animals in our care.

As you may be aware there is a global shortage of PPE, specifically surgical masks, N-95 respirators, Tyveks and gloves due to the COVID-19 pandemic. There is also looming shortages of disinfectants, food, and other necessary supplies to provide humane care to animals. In addition there are concerns regarding the high potential for staffing shortages. Per OLAW FAQs G.9. Institutional Responsibilities-Pandemic Plans: "Animal facilities must be maintained at a level to ensure animal welfare. Plans should consider appropriate staffing levels, cross-training to cover critical operations, and adequate inventories of essential supplies (e.g., feed, bedding PPE, cagewash supplies)."

The following is being implemented NOW to prolong our ability to provide basic animal care for as long as possible.

Effective immediately until at least April 30, 2020:

         No additional studies/experiments can begin. That is, no procedures can be performed on nave animals so that we can minimize the number of animals requiring daily care (Note that IACUC approval processes remain intact for protocol changes and reviews).

         No additional animal orders may be placed.

         Shipments of animals from vendors or other collaborating institutions will also be cancelled unless cancellation will negatively impact animal welfare; e.g., incoming animal shipments already in process will still be received.

         For PIs maintaining their own rodent breeding colonies, no new breeding pairs should be established beyond that which is needed to maintain critical rodent lines - consideration should be given to separating current breeding pairs whenever possible.

         For breeding colonies managed by the ACS Rodent Models Breeding Core

o   Animals from the C57BL/6 colony will not be available.

o   No new breeding pairs will be established beyond that which is needed for colony maintenance of critical rodent lines - ACS will work closely with PIs to identify critical rodent lines and establish maintenance requirements.

         Breeding of non-rodent animals (cats, dogs, pigs, birds, fish, amphibians) will not be allowed.

         Consider intermediate experimental endpoints for ongoing studies in the event that you, or a member of your laboratory staff, are no longer able to complete the study and/or continue collecting data without interruption. We also recommend that you add any additional qualified personnel to your protocol to allow you greater flexibility if current personnel become unavailable.

         If you are in a Non-ACS housing area please ensure your laboratory has an up to date emergency plan and that all members of the laboratory review it. In addition to your general facility emergency plan this plan should include a Continuity of Operations Plan to address the daily care of any animals currently on study and in census, and the identification of 2-3 key individuals that can manage essential procedures. This plan should also identify animals which are critical to save in the event that circumstances require selective de-population. Please send a copy to the IACUC office by 3/25/20.
We realize this is a difficult time and we appreciate you working together with us. These actions are essential to ensuring that the highest animal welfare standards are maintained at all times and in all circumstances.

Please email any questions or concerns to [log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>. If you have specific ACS questions they can be contacted at [log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>.

Daniel R. Brown, Ph.D.
IACUC Chairman
[log in to unmask]
(352) 294-4004