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Animal Facility Procedures

All personnel entering Penn State laboratory animal facilities are expected to follow ARP recommended procedures for appropriate attire, equipment use and waste disposal.

Personnel Protective Equipment

Penn State Institutional Animal Care and Use (IACUC) policy on Attire for Work with Laboratory Animals requires all personnel to wear appropriate protective clothing and equipment while working with laboratory animals. Certain animal facilities and animal rooms have strict entry requirements for either bio-safety or bio-security purposes. Entry requirements to these areas supersede the requirements described below and are posted at relevant entry points.

  • If animals or animal samples are to be handled in a facility animal room or procedure room dedicated outerwear (laboratory coat or disposable gown) and disposable gloves must be worn.
  • This attire should be donned upon entry into the animal room and removed before leaving the facility or entering another animal room. Disposable shoe covers, gowns, gloves, caps and face masks are available for use in each animal facility.
  • Personnel should wash their hands after handling animals or animal samples.

Procedure Room Use

Rooms are available in each animal facility for the use of investigators during experimental procedures. Gas anesthesia equipment is available in many of these rooms along with sharps containers and other material needed for waste disposal. Investigators are responsible for maintaining the room in clean and uncluttered condition and appropriate waste disposal. The following guidelines apply to procedure room use.

Routine waste: Discard waste in the regular trash receptacle. Do not use biohazard bags to dispose of routine waste. Rodent blood is not a biohazard and may be discarded in the regular trash receptacle. If the trash can is full, remove and seal the bag. Place the bag in the corridor and ARP personnel will take it to the dumpster. A replacement bag should be present in the bottom of the trash container.

Biohazard Waste: If biohazard bags are used for any reason, they should be removed and taken to a biohazard collection site when vacating the room. Please do not leave biohazardous material in the room.

Glass Waste: Glass waste such as used pipettes should be placed in the glass recycling bin.

Sharps: Sharps such as needles and scalpel blades must be placed in the red sharps containers located in the procedure rooms. If the sharps container is full contact the ARP office at 865-1495 to request a new container.

Animal Carcasses and Tissue: Place dead animals and discarded animal tissues in a plastic bag and place in the facility freezer or refrigerator for disposal. Plastic bags are available in the procedure room.

Work Surfaces: Work surfaces in the procedure room should be cleaned and disinfected prior to vacating the room. A spray bottle of disinfectant is available for use in each procedure room.

Anesthetic Equipment and Hoods: Clean and thoroughly disinfect equipment that has had contact with animals. It is recommended that each investigator purchase their own modified Bain unit (anesthetic mask unit) to protect their animals from the potential spread of disease.

Floors: Sweep all debris from the floor and clean up spills and splashes. ARP personnel will mop the floor on a regular basis.