BRL/Animal Facility User Policy

  1. All work conducted in animal facilities at UIC in which animals are used for research, testing or teaching must comply with the policies and guidelines of the Institutional Animal Care Committee (ACC).
  2. Failure to comply with the ACC’s policies and guidelines and/or the Animal Facility User Policy may result in protocol suspension and/or loss of user privileges.
  3. To obtain access to animal facilities, users must complete the required online training courses, be on an ACC approved Animal Care protocol, receive an orientation by the appropriate member of the BRL veterinary staff and be entered into the UIC Occupational Health Program.
  4. Users are to follow all instructions posted on signs throughout the respective facilities.
  5. All photography and videography in animal facilities must receive prior approval by the Director of the BRL and/or his/her designee.
  6. All tours of animal facilities must be approved by the Director and/or his/her designee.
  7. The presence of minors (less than 18 years of age) outside designated administrative support areas in animal facilities is not allowed without prior approval by the Director and/or his/her designee.
  8. Users should not enter unauthorized and/or restricted access areas without obtaining approval from the veterinary staff.
  9. Facility entrance order and traffic patterns (i.e. not walking through the dirty cage wash corridor prior to entering a rodent room) must be followed as discussed in the facility orientation with BRL veterinary staff.
  10. Users should not prop open animal room and/or entrance doors.
  11. Users should not move animals from one housing area or facility to another without obtaining approval from the veterinary staff or an appropriate supervisor. Animals cannot be transported in personal vehicles or by any means of public transportation or ride-sharing services.
  12. Animals used for teaching or research are the property of UIC. No animal, unfixed animal carcass or part thereof, which has been or is intended for the purpose of research or teaching shall be removed from or brought onto university property without the approval of the Director of the BRL
  13. Users are to report loose or sick animals to the area supervisor or a member of the BRL veterinary staff.
  14. Users are to report to the area supervisor or a member of the BRL veterinary staff injuries, accidents, chemical or biologic hazards spills and/or any other potential hazard.
  15. Eating, drinking and applying cosmetics is not permitted in animal rooms, support areas, procedural areas or laboratories. By institutional policy smoking is not permitted in University buildings.
  16. Appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) should be worn when working with animals. The level of protection may vary dependent on the species, facility, or task. Specific requirements will be discussed during the time of the facility orientation.
  17. Animal rooms in the BRL are locked in order to maintain security. BRL staff will not unlock animal room doors after 4 pm for users who forgot or lost their animal room key.
  18. Animal room keys are the responsibility of the user. Users leaving UIC or who no longer have an approved ACC protocol must return keys they obtained from the BRL back to the BRL business office. The user and/or the department will be charged $50 per lost key and/or non-returned key.
  19. Cell phone use within the animal facility should be in accordance with the following guidelines:
    1. Cell phones, electronic devices or headphones are not allowed in the BRL barrier suite, quarantine, biohazard or chemical hazard rooms.
    2. Cell phones should not be taken out of pockets in animal rooms or handled except if needed for necessary work-related tasks.
      1. If it is anticipated that the cell phone will be handled in an animal room, it can be done so through the use of a protective covering such as a clear plastic bag. The phone should be contained within the bag prior to donning PPE and remain within the bag until exiting the room/facility. Bags can be located in the PPE area.
      2. If the cell phone is handled in an animal room without a protective bag, gloves should be changed immediately afterward and before any cages or equipment is manipulated.
    3. Cell phone speakers and electronic devices should never be used to play audio in animal rooms, unless headphones are worn. The volume should be low enough to maintain awareness of sounds in the room, overhead pages, alarms and should not be audible to others in the room.
  20.  Additional items pertaining to rodent biosecurity must be followed:
    1. Any individuals that have entered a research animal facility containing rodents outside of UIC or the JBVAMC cannot enter a UIC rodent room on the same day unless approved by the Director of the BRL and/or his/her designee.
    2. It is well documented that pet rodents may carry numerous microbial agents that are excluded from laboratory rodent colonies. Due to the potential risk pet rodents pose to the UIC rodent colony, the veterinary staff strongly discourages individuals who have direct contact with the UIC rodent colony from having pet rodents. If you have a pet rodent, the BRL veterinary staff must be informed.
    3. Murine biologics or biologics that have been passaged through rodents must be tested for excluded pathogens in accordance with the ACC Biologic Material Testing Policy.
    4. Shared-use equipment and space should be disinfected before and after use to minimize the transfer of potential pathogens. Used equipment obtained from labs outside UIC must be properly decontaminated before contact with UIC animals. Appropriate decontamination methods should be discussed with the BRL veterinary staff.
    5. Special diets, additives to water, enrichment or special caging can be a potential source of contamination.  Any natural ingredient diet provided to rodents must be sterilized. For treatments in drinking water administered to rodents, autoclaved water should be used. Decontamination procedures for special enrichment items or caging must be discussed with veterinary staff prior to use.