Regulatory Structure for Animal Handling at UNC-Chapel Hill
In compliance with Federal regulations and institutional policies and procedures, several institutional entities address health and safety issues pertaining to vertebrate animal care and use. The Office of Animal Care and Use (OACU) oversees all campus use of lab animals, and provides required training courses for research animal handlers and caretakers. The Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) at UNC-Chapel Hill consists of selected UNC faculty and staff members and non-UNC affiliated community members. IACUC reviews all research protocols involving the use of vertebrate animals.
If you plan to use vertebrate animals in your work, IACUC requires successful completion of the online IACUC Orientation course, as well as additional courses for specific techniques or species. Refer to the IACUC Training and Compliance website for more information. OACU, IACUC and theDivision of Laboratory Animal Medicine (DLAM) work in collaboration with EHS and the University Employees Occupational Health Clinic (UEOHC)to ensure that appropriate expertise is involved in program guidance and the timely exploration and resolution of new problems.
As part of your mandatory orientation course, you are required to submit the Research Animal Handler Questionnaire. The UEOHC reviews this form and performs a risk assessment based upon relevant individual health history or concerns, the species of animals you use, the extent of animal contact, and the experimental agents or procedures used in the animal studies. UEOHC also requires that you submit a completed Worker Registration Form to EHS.
Based upon this assessment, the UEOHC might recommend additional vaccinations, modifications in the use of PPE, or possibly even work re-assignment to other types of duties. In addition, the UEOHC serves as a primary care provider for workplace injuries and accidents involving laboratory animals or laboratory animal facilities. Contact the UEOHC promptly at 919-966-9119 if you have health-related concerns due to working with laboratory animals.