IACUC Email Announcement Oct 29, 2010

A Message from the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee:

Nonhuman Primate Social Housing Update

Following the USDA /APHIS announcement of immediate actions to strengthen their enforcement of the Animal Welfare Act, the IACUC has revised our Institutional Plan to Promote the Psychological Well Being of Nonhuman Primates (Plan), specifically in respect to the social housing of nonhuman primates. The changes are based on making the Plan consistent with recent guidance on this issue from the USDA and the Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare. The Plan changes were approved by the IACUC at the last convened meeting and are effective immediately. All research teams need to review the modified Plan by providing your HSConnect credentials on the DLAR website (www.dlar.pitt.edu), proceeding to Services>Animal Enrichment, and following the links to 'Protocol advising/Creating a lab specific enrichment plan' and 'nonhuman primates'. The Plan now states that continuous social housing will be the default housing condition, with the following exceptions:

    * Intermittent Social Housing
    * Vicious or Overly Aggressive Behavior
    * Debilitated Animals
    * Contagious Disease (not induced by experimental manipulation)
    * Lack of Available Social Partners

Exemptions to this or any other aspect of the Plan will still require scientific justification on your protocol application, or as directed by the Attending Veterinarian for the immediate health or well being of an individual animal.
IACUC forms for new protocol submissions, protocol modifications, and annual renewals will be revised to reflect implementation of the adopted changes to the Plan. This will include a revised Nonhuman Primate Enrichment and Socialization Supplemental Application (Attachment 4), which all investigators using nonhuman primates will now be required to complete, regardless of exemption requests. This revised Attachment 4 will supply further information to the IACUC regarding allowable socialization situations, as well as a proactive enhanced enrichment plan for use in any single housing situation, including the above mentioned acceptable exceptions. The new forms must be used for submissions for new, annual renewals, and modifications of nonhuman primate protocols. Use of these forms is mandatory after January 1, 2011, though we encourage you to contact the DLAR Enrichment Specialists (enrichment@dlar.pitt.edu or 412-967-6571) to obtain this attachment for drafting your updated answers proactively or for further questions or assistance.