IACUC Email Announcement July 12, 2010

A Message from the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee:

Husbandry Care - Everyone’s Responsibility

Federal Animal Welfare Act Regulations, Public Health Service (PHS) and National Institute of Health (NIH) policies, and the U.S. Government Principles for the Utilization and Care of Vertebrate Animals Used in Testing, Research and Training require that every research institution assure adequate living conditions for research animals, appropriate for the species, which contribute to the animals’ health and comfort. It is also scientifically imperative to minimize nutritional and environmental variables that could interfere with research interpretations or conclusions, which could lead to animal waste.

Husbandry practices for animals maintained at an institution are established under the guidance of a responsible institutional official in conjunction with university veterinarians. Adequate husbandry requires theuse of appropriate caging, maintaining proper temperature, humidity and lighting in the housing room, and providing food and water on the correct schedule. At most sites, the housing, feeding, and care of animals used for biomedical purposes are performed by the DLAR (Division of Laboratory Animal Resources). However, assuring that appropriate husbandry occurs on a day-to-day basis is everyone’s responsibility: principal investigators, facility directors, laboratory supervisors, technicians, post docs, and students all must play a role. Accordingly, animal husbandry is discussed as part of each of the IACUC's species specific training modules.

If an employee has questions about the appropriate husbandry of animals, or has concerns about the care of their research animals, they should contact the DLAR, as outlined below. It is imperative that concerns about the delivery of water and feed to animals and the environmental conditions in housing rooms are addressed in a timely manner, to avoid adverse welfare conditions for the animals. Correction is the responsibility by all involved parties and requires timely reports to the program facility supervisor during regular work hours. After hours concerns should be addressed through emergency reporting mechanisms, as posted in all animal facilities.

As an animal user at the University of Pittsburgh, it is the responsibility of you and your staff members to immediately report any concerns regarding the housing or husbandry of animals to DLAR personnel.

For assistance during normal work hours, contact the DLAR at:

In an emergency, utilize one of the following contacts

In an emergency, utilize one of the following contacts to arrange for assistance:
Husbandry emergency:

  • The Site Supervisor (posted in each facility)
  • Husbandry Services Manager, page (412) 917-0681
  • Associate Director Husbandry Services, page (412) 958-0247

Facilities and animal transport emergency:

  • Facility Manager, page (412) 565-9580
  • Associate Director Husbandry Services, page (412) 958-0247

Veterinary emergency:

  • Veterinary Technician on-call, page (412) 958-5923
  • Veterinarian on-call, page (412) 917-2340

   1. Health Research Extension Act of 1985, Public Law 99-158, November 20, 1985: "Animals in Research". (http://grants.nih.gov/grants/olaw/references/phspol.htm).
   2. U.S. Government Principles for the Utilization and Care of Vertebrate Animals Used in Testing, Research, and Training. (http://grants.nih.gov/grants/olaw/references/phspol.htm).
   3. Public Health Service Policy on Humane Care and Use of Laboratory Animals. (http://grants.nih.gov/grants/olaw/references/phspol.htm).
   4. Animal Welfare Act (7 U.S.C. 2131 et. seq.) and other applicable Federal laws, guidelines, and policies. (http://www.nal.usda.gov/awic/legislat/awa.htm) .