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Animal Research. Who What Where When Why. WHAT is Animal Research?. Research in the biological or medical sciences that uses animals as test subjects. The animal studied could be the actual subject of the research e.g., zoological research in a native habitat

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Animal research l.jpg
Animal Research

  • Who

  • What

  • Where

  • When

  • Why


What is animal research l.jpg
WHAT is Animal Research?

  • Research in the biological or medical sciences that uses animals as test subjects.

    • The animal studied could be the actual subject of the research

      • e.g., zoological research in a native habitat

    • The animal studied could be serving as a model for its own species

      • e.g., testing heartworm medications in dogs


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WHAT is Animal Research?

  • The animal studied could be serving as a model for humans

    • e.g., testing medications for safety, and to see if they work (efficacy)

  • The animal studied could be serving as a model for animals in general (including humans)

    • e.g., how blood clots, how the brain works


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WHO does Animal Research?

  • At UM, all projects must be directed by a faculty member, who has either an advanced graduate level degree (Ph.D.) or a professional degree (M.D., D.V.M.)

  • Usually, research assistants, post-doctoral fellows, graduate students, professional students, and/or undergraduate students are actually performing the experiments.


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WHY do Animal Research?

  • Because animals are often the best (or only) means available to study a biological process in the context of a whole organism. Other systems cannot simulate the complex interrelationships between organ systems and/or cannot predict those relationships that are, as yet, unknown.


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WHY do Animal Research?

  • Many people support “alternatives to animals” for biomedical research

  • Cell cultures can mimic some aspects of biology, but they aren’t as complex.

  • Computers can mimic some aspects of biology, but they can’t analyze beyond that for which they are programmed.


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Where is Animal Research done?

  • Universities, colleges, private and government institutes, pharmaceutical companies, and government and military installations.

  • At UM there are 31 animal “facilities” in 23 different buildings on campus.



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WHEN is Animal Research done?

  • 24 Hours per day!

    • The animals stay all night

    • Several projects actually involve after-hours work

  • Very important fact to remember if your facility houses animals

    • Nighttime work (when employees are gone) does not help with animal facilities


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WHAT is ULAM?

  • A campus division that

    • Provides veterinary care to all university-owned animals

    • Ensures that all federal and state regulations are followed

    • Operates a service that provides daily care to animals upon request

    • Can provide technical assistance to researchers for their animal studies


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WHAT is ULAM?

  • ULAM is also a “department” within the medical school

    • It is considered a basic science department, even though the faculty perform clinical services for the animal “patients”

    • It has research and teaching functions

    • It has faculty members, most of whom are veterinarians


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WHO am I?

  • Robert C. Dysko, D.V.M.

    • Associate Director of ULAM

    • Clinical Associate Professor of Laboratory Animal Medicine

    • A veterinary specialist, board certified by the American College of Laboratory Animal Medicine

    • ULAM’s faculty liaison for animal facility design and renovation issues

    • Vice-Chairman of UCUCA


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WHAT is UCUCA?

  • University Committee on Use and Care of Animals

    • It is mandated by two government regulations

    • It reviews all applications to use animals at UM

    • It inspects UM animal facilities twice per year

    • Sometimes called the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC)


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WHAT is UCUCA?

  • UCUCA is advisory to the Vice-President for Research

  • Funding for UCUCA is through the Office of the Vice-President for Research

  • Operation of the program and staff supervision is through ULAM


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WHAT are the LAWS?

  • Animal Welfare Act

    • Oversight by the USDA

    • Covers all mammals except rats and mice

  • Health Research Extension Act

    • Oversight by the Public Health Service (PHS)

    • Covers all vertebrates

    • Applies because UM gets funds from PHS agencies (like NIH and CDC)


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Animal Welfare Act

  • We must follow laws written by the USDA regarding care and housing of animals.

  • Not following these rules is breaking the law, punishable by fine or suspension.

  • USDA inspectors visit unannounced.

  • Violations can be seen by the public using the Freedom of Information Act.


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Public Health Service Policy

  • Requires institutions to follow a handbook known as the “Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals.”

  • The “Guide” gives recommendations for animal care and facility management.

  • Encourages animal research facilities to be accredited by AAALAC.


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WHAT is AAALAC?

  • Association for the Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care

  • AAALAC is a review body that assesses the animal facility once every 3 years.

  • AAALAC site visitors are professionals from other institutions.

  • AAALAC results are confidential.


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Specialized areas of research buildings with unique needs and requirements

HVAC

Lighting

Surfaces

Fire alarms

Plumbing

Waste Management

Security

Animal Facilities


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Animal Facilities - HVAC and requirements

  • 10-15 air changes per hour

  • 100% fresh air in and out

  • Control of air flow relative to corridor

  • Individual room re-heats

  • NEW - ventilation directly into the cage

  • Plant Dept. (Building Automation Services) getting more involved with monitoring and controlling animal room HVAC


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Animal Facilities - Lighting and requirements

  • Day / night cycles

    • Adjustable

    • Override cannot have a “hold” feature

    • Use of red light during “night” cycles

  • Intensity

    • Albino animals require lower intensity

    • Most animal rooms have two-level lighting


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Animal Facilities - Surfaces and requirements

  • In general, must be smooth, moisture resistant, free of imperfections, and easily cleanable

    • Flooring

    • Wall surfaces and paint

    • Ceiling types

      • Solid

      • Suspended panels


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Animal Facilities - Fire Alarms and requirements

  • Becoming an interesting issue

    • Must balance needs of personnel safety against needs of research project to be free from undesirable noise and light

  • Factors to consider

    • Frequency (pitch) of alarm sound

    • Decibel level

    • Strobe lights


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Animal Facilities - Plumbing and requirements

  • Hot and cold water

  • Adequate drains

  • Steam for cage washing equipment and room re-heat coils

  • Automatic watering systems

  • Tap water vs. deionized vs. reverse osmosis vs. well water

  • Aquatic animals


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Animal Facilities - Waste Mgmt. and requirements

  • Carcasses

    • landfill vs. incineration vs. alkaline hydrolysis

  • Bedding and “stuff”

    • landfill

  • Biohazards

    • incineration vs. alkaline hydrolysis

  • Recycling?


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Animal Facilities - Security and requirements

  • New issue since late 1980’s

  • Problem: Keep intruders out while letting research continue with minimal obstruction

  • Does help ensure proper training of new research staff and reduce “zoo” use by UM employees

  • ID card swipe replaces voice access system

  • Intrusions report to Dept. of Public Safety


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WHO are we keeping out? and requirements

  • The violent arm of the animal rights movement

    • Individuals who feel that vandalism and law-breaking are acceptable actions in defense of their cause

  • People who may be looking for “information” without permission

  • People who simply have no reason to be in the animal facility


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WHY are they against Animal Research? and requirements

  • Feel that research = torture of animals

  • Feel that research results have actually impeded medical progress

  • Feel that animals are sentient beings and deserve rights equivalent to humans


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Product safety and requirements

Medications

Vaccines

Surgical procedures

Organ transplants

Artificial joints and organs

Heart-lung bypass

Understanding of infectious diseases

Understanding of metabolic diseases

Understanding of genetic diseases

Understanding of multifactorial diseases

Benefits of Animal Research


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Benefits of Animal Research and requirements

  • Artificial Heart

    • Implanted in Louisville, used calves as model

  • Artificial Lung

    • Being developed here, uses sheep as model

  • Gene Therapy

    • Typically uses mice, sometimes monkeys

  • Combating Biological Warfare

    • Anthrax, smallpox


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More Alphabet Soup and requirements

  • AALAS - American Association of Laboratory Animal Science

    • Encompasses all aspects of laboratory animal care - vets, technicians, vendors, scientists

  • Is the organization that sponsors our largest annual convention


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More Alphabet Soup and requirements

  • ASLAP - American Society of Laboratory Animal Practitioners

    • Composed of veterinarians only

  • Is our political arm within the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA)


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More Alphabet Soup and requirements

  • ACLAM - American College of Laboratory Animal Medicine

    • Composed of veterinarians only

  • Is the specialty board - one must have credentials and pass an examination to be a member

  • Publishes many texts on laboratory animal science and medicine