University of Vermont

Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee - IACUC


Institutional Animal Care and Use News

February 9, 2016

To all faculty, staff and students utilizing animals in research programs:

On Tuesday and Wednesday, March 1 and 2, the University of Vermont will host its triennial site visit from the Association for Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care (AAALAC). Many private and public funding sources view AAALAC accreditation as an assurance that animal use at our institution is conducted in a humane and ethical manner, and that appropriate regulations and policies are followed.  As an AAALAC-accredited institution, UVM demonstrates a serious commitment to high standards in the care and use of animals in research programs.

During their inspection, the site visitors will observe every aspect of the UVM animal care program, from record-keeping and training of personnel to drug storage and maintenance of facilities. Please be aware that the site visitors will inspect laboratories in which animal procedures are performed as well as all animal-housing facilities. Laboratory visits will be on Tuesday afternoon (HSRF, Given, Stafford, Dewey) and Wednesday morning (Colchester) It is absolutely critical that any operational or facility deficiencies which have been identified in your laboratory by the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) be corrected prior to the AAALAC site visit.

 Please take the following steps to prepare for a successful site visit:

  • Take a moment to review the results of your last IACUC inspection, which took place in October of 2015, and correct any deficiencies which were noted.
  • Inspect your drug storage areas for expired products and make sure all solutions are stored and labeled properly. Ensure that any controlled substances used in the lab are appropriately stored and logged.
  • Have copies of your approved IACUC protocols available in the lab, and confirm that each member of the laboratory team understands what animal procedures have been approved.
  • Take care that any areas in the lab in which survival surgeries or other animal procedures take place are clean and organized.
  • Be prepared to answer questions about procedures that occur in the laboratory. Be polite and answer questions accurately and concisely, without offering extraneous detail or commentary.

Maintaining AAALAC accreditation gives UVM researchers an important advantage in obtaining extramural funding. It is to every researcher’s benefit to present the animal care and use program in the best possible light.

 If you have any additional questions, please don’t hesitate to call or email me. You can also find information about AAALAC in the “resources” section of the AAALAC website:

One presentation in particular deals with preparation for a site visit:

Many thanks for your cooperation,

Ruth Blauwiekel, DVM, PhD, DACLAM
University Veterinarian
Office: 656-7881
Cell: 578-3467

November 4, 2015
Attention Infoed Users:  InfoEd will be upgraded to a new version of code this weekend and will not be available to users.  The system will be off-line from Friday, November 6 at 3 pm until Monday, November 9 at 8 am.  Users will NOT be able to access the system during this time.  Read more here.

The Move from Paper to Electronic Exchange of IACUC Protocol Materials

Beginning 10/01/09 the IACUC will require investigators to submit all protocols and protocol-related submissions (e.g. amendments, key personnel changes) in portable document format (PDF). Investigators in turn can expect to receive their IACUC correspondence via email. This change is a giant step forward and should result in less paperwork for the investigators and the IACUC staff.

We continue to require protocol submissions to be signed by the vet, the PI and others (e.g. departmental reviews) as necessary. This will require that investigators scan final submission documents into a PDF document and then forward them to our office. We have identified a potential pitfall with this new process to be confusion with document versions. We must all be vigilant about making sure we are always working with the currently approved version of the protocol and protocol roster. Please update your documents every time they are submitted by completing the footer.

All submissions need to be sent to the email box where new submissions will be monitored and processed in the order they are received. Electronic submissions prior to October 1 will be accepted.

We are also now ready to implement automated email notifications and correspondence from the InfoEd database system. These emails will primarily be continuing review reminders and key personnel changes. However, we will be scanning and emailing the remaining types of correspondence to avoid confusion. To help the investigator identify IACUC email correspondence, the subject line of the emails will always contain the words: *IMPORTANT* IACUC … .

Please do not disregard these emails as we will not be sending hard copies of emailed correspondence. The automated messages can only be sent to the PI of record. For those of you who designate these tasks, you should determine a way to filter or forward your email to the person to whom you have delegated that responsibility. The InfoEd system does not have a viable designate feature for IACUC at this time.

Depending upon which email software and browser is used, the Infoed correspondence may appear within the email message or as an attachment or both. Investigators may reply to these automated emails, but remember to attach a PDF document(s) of whatever it is that is being submitted for review.

We expect that some adjustments may need to be made to this new process and appreciate your patience and feedback during this transition.

Last modified February 09 2016 01:20 PM

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