Animal Safety Protocols

Tips for filling out the safety section of the animal protocol (16b&c).    

16b.

Are all of the appropriate agents listed in the table?   All agents that are biological in origin, experimental, hazardous, or not approved by the FDA or CVM must be listed in the table in 16b.

Is a Biological Safety Protocol (OBS-2) required?

  • Any time agents that are biological in origin are administered to animals, a biological safety protocol is also required.  This includes: biological toxins, cells or tissue lines, recombinant DNA, products of human origin, and pathogens.
  • When changing or amending procedures that involve biological agents, an amendment to your OBS-2 may also be required.  If you need to amend your biosafety protocol or initiate one, it helps to get started early so delays in research can be avoided.  Contact the Office of Biological Safety with questions.

Is a 99-A required?  Any time radioactive materials are administered to animals, a 99-A form must be completed and filed with the Office of Radiation Safety.  

16c.

Include brief descriptions of precautions taken when preparing and administering agents, as well as precautions required for the animals after administration. 

  • Important points to include are ventilation (for example a fume hood or biological safety cabinet), and personal protective equipment.  Standard lab PPE always consists of a lab coat, gloves and eye protection.  Remember that changing cages that contain dusty contact bedding such as the corncob bedding used in many rodent facilities on campus is considered an aerosol generating activity that usually requires ventilation or respiratory protection when hazards have been administered.
  • Who will be performing the husbandry after the animals have received agents?  Animal care staff can continue to provide care in most cases; but when the animals have received radioactive materials or particularly hazardous substances that require specialized training, often lab staff perform husbandry.

Hazard communication is always required.  How are other personnel notified that the animals have received an agent and what precautions they should take?   

  • In most cases, signage is required on both the room door and the cage. 
  • The signs should include both the identity and the nature (such as toxic or reproductive) of the hazard.

Are there special handling/disposal guidelines for animal waste and dirty equipment? 

  • Most animal waste generated on campus goes into the regular waste stream via the trash or sanitary sewer.  In the case of many biohazards, autoclaving is required before disposal, and some waste receives microwave treatment through MERI, which is utilized for medical waste.
  • In the case of many chemical hazards that have been administered to animals, the waste is still disposed of into the regular waste stream.  However, there are handling considerations for this waste that can include ventilation, PPE and hazard communication.