The Beacon Volume 3, Issue 4

November 2018 Newsletter


IACUC Meeting Update

The Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee met on November 14th.  The Committee made a few decisions that will impact the animal research community.

  • Blunt Ear Bars – new review standard. As part of a protocol review, the Committee unanimously decided that blunt ear bars must be used for all survival procedures, unless there is a very robust rationale justifying the use of penetrating ear bars. If not already described in the procedure using stereotaxis, the reviewers will ask for the phrase “…with blunt ear bars…” to be included in the description, if it is not already present. The use of blunt ear bars will be confirmed on IACUC semiannual inspections and OARS post-approval monitoring visits.
  • The IACUC discussed a few non-compliant incidents regarding rodent genotyping and identification. As a reminder to everyone:
    • Tail-snipping for genotyping of mice over 21 days of age must be performed under anesthesia and with appropriate post-procedure analgesia.  Any policy exception should also be clearly described in the protocol.
    • Toe-clipping for genotyping or identification of mice over 12 days of age must be performed under anesthesia and with appropriate post-procedure analgesia.  Any policy exception should also be clearly described in the protocol.
  • New policies and standard procedures. See below. The new “Diluting and Compounding Drugs” policy (a consequence of the AAALAC site visit) will need some recalibration of laboratory practices.

MAPS Development

IRES LogoRelease #5 is well ahead of schedule and is currently undergoing final testing for proper functionality and bugs.  We expect these system enhancements to go live by the end of the calendar year. This release will include the following major new or improved features:

  • Significant changes to the Consideration of Alternatives section of the protocol, including minimizing the need for long explanations of the literature search (there will be pre-written selections to choose from).
  • As a “background action”, MAPS will create a “clone” of your protocol and queue it up to be ready for a modification.  When an authorized lab member clicks on the Add Modification button, the editable protocol will be ready to be modified, without having to wait several minutes for a new protocol copy to load.
  • In Spring 2018 and in collaboration with VCS, the IACUC approved a significant change in the Analgesia policy, now requiring multimodal analgesia.  Instead of creating up to six individual building blocks for various multimodal drug combinations, you will be able create one multimodal drug building block to include all of the individual drugs together.

Demo for a new feature of the online protocol system

Policy and Procedure Updates

The following policy updates have been recently approved by the IACUC. For policy questions, please contact the Office of Animal Research Support (OARS) at 203-785-5992.  For animal health questions, please contact Veterinary Clinical Services (VCS) at 203-785-2501.

Death as an Endpoint REVISED

  • Minor wording and formatting changes were made to make the document more concise.
  • All language indicating that a literature search for alternatives is required, has been removed. This requirement was found to be an unnecessary regulatory burden, and not as useful as once thought. Guidance is listed in the Resources section in cases where a lab may still want to perform an alternative search.

Diluting and Compounding Drugs Used in Research and Teaching Animals NEW

  • This is a new policy describing the requirements for diluting and compounding drugs.
  • Diluted drugs and other compounds used in/for survival procedures must be sterile. This includes the diluents, compounds, and primary containers.
  • All dilutions must be labeled properly to indicate an expiration date of 30 days after the solution was made, unless the actual expiration date of the drug or diluent is less than 30 days.
  • If the diluted drug or compound is a controlled substance, then the working solution must be recorded and tracked separately from the stock solution.
  • Research personnel are encouraged to attend the 01/24/19 OARS Office Hour for a discussion of how laboratories can maintain compliance with this new policy.
  • Because of the likely change in practices which may take some time to institute, this policy will become effective on March 1st, 2019, but OARS will begin helping labs adapt to this change immediately.

IACUC Standard Procedure Updates

The following standard procedures were written in collaboration with several faculty from YSM Psychiatry, approved by the IACUC, and will be available for selection in the coming weeks. Being that they are already approved, there won’t be a need for investigators to re-write that procedure nor for the IACUC to re-review that procedure.

Holiday Schedule

The holiday season has arrived. The IACUC will meet on December 12th, prior to winter break, and then again on January 9th

  • To have your protocol reviewed at the December meeting, please submit your protocol as soon as possible and contact your protocol liaison to assure that the review begins immediately. 
  • If your protocol must be modified and have that modification approved before the end of the 2018 calendar year, it must be submitted by the end of the day on Monday, December 17th. If you currently have a significant modification under review, please respond to questions promptly to facilitate its prompt approval.
  • The submission deadline to have your protocol reviewed at the January meeting is Monday, December 17th.  

The Office of Animal Research Support will be closed from 12/24/18 to 01/02/19. 

IACUC Meeting and Deadlines for 2019

Investigators are encouraged to submit protocols that are due for 3-year renewal in 2019 early (prior to submission deadlines) to allow time for pre-review of your protocol by the liaisons and veterinarians. This will expedite the review and approval of the protocol in the MAPS. Should you have any questions, please contact your protocol liaison.  Please see the 2019 Deadlines and Meeting Dates to plan when to submit your protocol for IACUC review.

Contact Us

To reach someone in OARS, email or call them directly or contact the Office at or 203-785-5992. Please visit the Animal Research page for additional info and guidance, including submission of documents for IACUC review, policies and proceduresanimal-related training, how to report animal welfare concerns, and who to contact in OARS, so that we can provide you with whatever assistance you need.