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Laboratory Animal Facilities

Housing and animal husbandry services for laboratory animals used in biomedical research on the University Park campus are provided by the Animal Research Program (ARP). The available animal facilities include space for most common laboratory animal species.

Using Animals in Research or Teaching at PSU

Vertebrate animals may not be acquired or used for teaching or research purposes until the PSU IACUC has approved an animal use protocol. Protocol submissions are coordinated through the CATS IACUC system and the Office for Research Protections (ORP).

Animal purchases or other shipments and housing of animals used for biomedical research and teaching are coordinated through the Animal Resource Program (ARP). Information concerning animal shipments from other than approved commercial vendors may be found on the ARP website. Investigators must contact the ARP Animal Facilities Supervisor prior to ordering animals to coordinate arrival and housing of animals. Please be prepared to provide information on current and future animal numbers and any special husbandry requirements. Information on DEA registration for investigators using controlled drugs is available online.

Entry into the Animal Facilities

Entrance into the animal facilities is limited to staff and students with approved key card access. Animal users must complete Facility Orientation training provided by ARP prior to gaining key card access. Contact the ARP office (865-1495) for information on key card access and Facility Orientation training. Please do not allow staff, students or other personnel who do not have key card access into the facilities.

Facility Orientation Training

All staff and students must complete the ARP Facility Orientation training specific for the animal facility they will be working in prior to gaining key card access to the building. This training includes important information on animal husbandry and care, appropriate attire for work in the facility and safe use of facility equipment. Contact the ARP office (865-1495) to schedule a training session. Please allow approximately 1 hour to complete the training.

Security 

To ensure the security of the animals, facility and animal room doors are kept closed and locked. Some facilities are secured with a card access system.

Please notify the ARP office if unauthorized personnel request access or are present in the animal facilities or if facility doors are not working correctly. After regular work hours and on weekends and holidays, Campus Police should be notified (phone number 863-1111 or 911 if emergency).

Animal Care Services

ARP personnel provide routine daily care (365 days a year) for all laboratory animals housed in ARP facilities unless otherwise specified by the investigator. Animal care technicians provide daily observation and provision of food and water. Environmental conditions for each species are maintained as specified in the National Research Council's Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals and the United States Animal Welfare Act. Temperature, humidity and light cycles may be modified if required by experimental design. However, the Penn State IACUC must approve modifications that fall outside recommended environmental conditions.

Animals may not be held overnight in areas other than IACUC approved laboratory animal facilities.

Employee Health

Certain health risks are associated with working with animals. In addition to the possibility of accidental injury, a variety of diseases are transmissible between humans and animals. As directed by governmental policies, personnel with significant animal contact must be included in an occupational health program. Therefore, the PSU Office for Research Protections has developed an occupational health and safety program for personnel working with animals. This program is conducted in cooperation with the University Health Services, the Animal Resource Program and the Environmental Health and Safety Office. Principal investigators must ensure that their employees and students who are involved with animal projects are enrolled in the program.

Anyone bitten or otherwise injured while working with an animal should report the incident to their supervisor so an accident reportmay be submitted. If medical attention is needed, PSU students should contact the University Health Services and employees the Department of Occupational Medicine. If a medical emergency exists, call 911 or go directly to the Mount Nittany Medical Center. Do not destroy the animal, since in some instances it may be important for it to be held for a period of observation