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IACUC Semi-Annual Facility Inspections

The PHS requires the UF IACUC to be responsible for oversight of all animal-related activities. One requirement is a semi-annual review of the animal research program and veterinary care at the University of Florida. A component of this review is an inspection of all facilities, areas where any form of surgical manipulation, housing, or areas of routine procedures, in short,“animal study areas” covered by UF IACUC approved protocols. A written report is prepared and includes deficiencies noted and corrective actions, improvements, emerging issues and recommendations concerning programs, policies, facilities and personnel. This report is sent to the Institutional Official.

To remain in compliance with the USDA, PHS/OLAW, and AAALAC these semi-annual inspections of UF’s animal facilities and laboratories are required. These semi-annual inspections are conducted April/May and October/November each year.

The IACUC inspectors evaluate all housing and study areas to determine if there are deficiencies in the animal research program. There are two types of deficiencies: Minor and Significant. A significant deficiency is defined as one which is or may be a threat to the health or safety of animals. A minor deficiency is one in which an immediate solution is not necessary to protect life or prevent distress. Inattention to minor deficiencies may result in chronic problems which may become significant.
Examples of items examined during an IACUC inspection include:

All laboratories and Housing:

The most recent UF IACUC approval letter must be available as a hard copy. Multi-user rooms must have copies of the approval letters of all active IACUC protocols in the area.
The IACUC approved Protocols must be available in all laboratories where animal work is done. These may be available on a computer or as a hard copy.
General cleanliness of lab animal study areas.
No human food and/or drink in any animal housing room or animal study area.
Non ACS housing must have IACUC approval letters displayed on doors.
Non ACS and ACS housing must have door sheets which include temperature and humidity logs.
Staff informed of “whistle-blower” policy.


Meticulous and appropriate medication storage, inventory control and expiration date monitoring. A written plan is encouraged.
Expired medications and supplies are separated, marked, and/or disposed properly to ensure they do not come in contact with animals.
Only USP grade drugs or an IACUC approved justification to use non-USP grade.
Medication and DEA controlled substances log is current and maintained accurately.
Biennial Inventory of DEA controlled substances, all classes, is current.

Non Invasive and Minor Medical Procedures:
Implementation of the IACUC Sanitization Policy, including microbiological testing, laboratory SOPs and logs regarding the cleaning of cages and multiple use equipment.

Advanced Medical Intervention:
Separate areas for surgical prep, surgery, and recovery for survival surgery.
Aseptic technique used in all survival surgeries.
Calibration of anesthesia machines must be current.

For more detailed lists of what the IACUC will look for on inspections this is the Inspector Checklist. This is a multiple page site with references to The Guide. These are the five OLAW inspection checklists. This is an abbreviated list to help investigators prepare for the inspection.

The PI and Coordinators will be notified by e-mail approximately a week before a semi-annual inspection occurs in their building. There are in excess of 800 animal research areas at UF, so the inspection schedule is not planned for individual areas. It is not necessary to stop research and wait for inspectors.

This inspection process is not meant to be restrictive. An inspection is an evaluation of facilities and a discussion of the animal research program in that area. Good laboratory practices are to be followed. The inspection is a review of those practices to ensure they are followed. Frequently, inspectors and PI’s find they are exchanging ideas and learning from each other.

The IACUC will e-mail the PI and the Coordinator an inspection report. This report will indicate if there were no issues or if there are any issues. They will be listed and a time period for correction indicated. All deficiencies must be corrected, or a plan to correct the deficiency must be submitted, within ten calendar days of receipt of the e-mail. The PI must respond in writing of the corrective action taken. Written corrective action may be sent to the IACUC via e-mail.

The IACUC appreciates the cooperation of the hundreds of investigators in this process.


This page was last updated on: September 10, 2013 10:36 AM
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