The Beacon Volume 5, Issue 2

May 2020 Newsletter


2020 IACUC Deadlines and Meeting Dates

Investigators are encouraged to submit protocols that are due for 3-year renewal in early to allow time for pre-review of the protocol by the research liaisons and the veterinarians. This will expedite the review and approval of the protocol in the MAPS environment. Should you have any questions, please contact your protocol liaison.

Update on IACUC and OARS “Business as Usual”

As the University’s response to the spread of COVID-19 continues to evolve, I write to provide additional information regarding the IACUC’s semi-annual facility inspection process. The IACUC approved that for facility managers (or designees) and PIs with satellite housing, or lab managers, may conduct self-assessments of their own facilities, instead of the usual IACUC inspection team. This will be done through the month of August. OARS will notify facility managers and PIs at the beginning of each month that an inspection is due. We are relying on the honor code, so please send all findings and plan for correction to This initiative will be limited to rodents, aquatics, etc. Inspections of USDA-covered species will be postponed until further notice.

Additionally, as a reminder, if you are conducting experiments during this time, be sure that you continue to follow practices that the IACUC has approved in your protocols, especially monitoring plans and treatment after procedures. If you are unable to fulfill this responsibility, then you may contract Rodent Services or VCS to monitor your animals for you (on a fee-for-service basis), or you should cease the experiment until you are better able to meet this expectation.

***The 3 most common deficiencies found on inspections are:

  1. Expired items (e.g., drugs, PPE, food)
  2. Vaporizer certification out of date or Improper maintenance of waste gas charcoal canisters
  3. Unlabeled labeled items (e.g., mix/expiration dates, contents)

Just a reminder: Please check your spaces periodically to assure fulfilment of IACUC expectations. The Inspection Checklist the IACUC uses to document findings is available on the OARS website.

OARS Brown Bag Training for Animal Users

The Office of Animal Research Support (OARS) presented the first in a series of training sessions on May 7th via Zoom.  The “brown bag” training sessions will cover topics of interest to Yale’s animal research community—from navigating through MAPS, to significant policy updates, to what to write when creating protocols. 

The first session focused on the MAPS Portal upgrade which is scheduled to go-live at the end of May.  Certain things in MAPS will look very different so attending one of these sessions is imperative to aid in your transition to the new “operating system.”  MAPS Portal upgrade training will consist of an overview and demonstration of all updates and new features in MAPS, advice on navigating the new system and a live demonstration followed by audience questions.

Register in the TMS to attend any of the scheduled “MAPS Portal 9 Orientation” training sessions on 5/19, 5/20, 5/21, 5/26, 5/27 or 5/28. Additional sessions will be scheduled, and soon be announced, for the month of June. Visit the TMS website and select the Specialized training link under the Animal Care & Use section to view event times, locations and register for the Brown Bag session.  VPN may be required to access the TMS website from home, please contact for any required assistance or questions. 

Comliance Corner

What would you do?

Dr. Smith has performed a surgical procedure on a mouse using ketamine/xylazine as an anesthetic, per the lab’s approved IACUC protocol.  The surgery was completed without incident, and the animal is still under anesthesia.  What should Dr. Smith do next?

  1. Return the animal to its home cage and place it on the rack in the housing room.
  1. Leave the animal in its home cage in the procedure room, return to the lab to get some work done, and then check on the animal later and return it to the housing room if it has recovered from anesthesia.
  1. Provide an IACUC-approved heat source for the mouse, stay in the room until the mouse has recovered from anesthesia, and then return it to the housing room.
  1. Any of the above is acceptable since there were no complications during surgery.

Correct Answer: C

C is correct since all animals under anesthesia need to be continuously monitored.  Also, if a mouse is anesthetized for longer than 15 minutes, thermal support must be provided.  Note: Animals undergoing anesthesia for non-surgical procedures must also be continuously monitored until recovery.

Compliance Corner - Additional Information

The Office of Animal Research Support periodically receives “incident reports” from YARC staff regarding non-compliance with the policy on rodent surgery and the associated policy on thermal support.  We wanted to take the opportunity here, to emphasize the importance of following these two policies.

4407 Surgery: Rodent, Survival and Non-Survival

Post-Operative Care

There are two stages of postoperative recovery:

  • Immediate postoperative recovery encompasses the time from the completion of surgery until the animal attains sternal recumbence. Trained personnel must be available for continuous observation during this period. Attention should be paid to body temperature, pulse rate, respiration, evidence of hemorrhage, and pain assessment. Animals should be kept warm and dry with an approved warming device to prevent hypothermia until they achieve and maintain sternal recumbency (See Thermal Support Guidelines). The recovery cage should be free of bedding to prevent inhalation of bedding materials. Monitoring at least every 15 minutes should be recorded until the rodents are sternal. Once the animals are ambulatory, they may be returned to regular housing.  

4458 Thermal Support of Anesthetized Laboratory Mammals

4458.2 Institutional Policy

Anesthetized mammals will likely require thermal support for brief procedures and certainly require it for extended or more invasive procedures. For animals weighing less than 5kg undergoing procedures lasting more than 15 minutes, thermal support is required. For species greater than ≥5kg, thermal support is required for procedures lasting more than 30 minutes.