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EWU Guidelines for Caring for Rats and Mice

All projects using rats, mice, or other mammals or birds at EWU must be approved by the EWU Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) before they may begin. This is required by federal law.

To obtain IACUC approval, complete and submit an IACUC Protocol Review Form. Fill out the form completely, making sure it will be clear to the committee members who evaluate it. Your faculty supervisor should review your application before you submit it. Get signatures from your faculty supervisor and the department chair. Submit the form electronically, and submit a paper copy of the form with the signatures, as instructed on the first page of the form.

The IACUC usually completes its evaluation within 10 days. IACUC approval occurs more rapidly when the application is accurate, complete, and clear; the IACUC may require changes and delay approval if important information is missing or inappropriate procedures are proposed.

Your project must be performed as described in your IACUC Protocol Review Form. Any changes to your procedures must be approved by the IACUC before they are implemented. To obtain approval for changes, complete and submit a Change to Protocol Review Form here.

When you are planning your project, you need to make sure that the EWU animal facility has the type and number of animals that you need. Either you or your faculty supervisor should talk with the animal caretaker about this.

Before starting your project you must get an access code for the animal facility from the Science Instructional Technician. You are allowed to be in the animal facility on weekdays between 6:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. If you need to be in the facility outside these times you must make arrangements with the Science Instructional Technician and the EWU Police.

At least two working days before you plan to start your project, meet with the animal caretaker to select the animals that will be assigned to you. The animal caretaker will show you which animal room to use.

Please do not enter animal rooms other than your own. Sensitive research could be disrupted.

Every animal cage has a cage card listing the species, gender, and date of birth. It is essential that the card remain with the animals.

If your project involves special diets or fluids, you are responsible for ensuring that your animals have enough food and water. Do not expect others to do it for you.

When you work in the animal facility please speak quietly. Loud noises, including laughter, yelling, and banging, are stressful to the animals.

Please clean up after yourselves. Be responsible for your own activities.

Notify the animal caretaker if you think any of your animals are sick or otherwise impaired, or if there is anything in the animal facility that needs attention.

Notify the animal caretaker as soon as you are finished with your project.

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