The proper care and use of research animals on the University of Michigan campus requires the oversight and commitment of many departments. In addition to OSEH, the two main departments/committees involved are ULAM and UCUCA.
Unit for Laboratory Animal Medicine (ULAM) is the University of Michigan department that provides oversight on the health and welfare of research animals on campus. Refer to ULAM website.
University Committee on the Use and Care of Animals (UCUCA) is the University of Michigan committee that fosters and oversees the responsible and humane care and justified use of animals used in research and instruction at the University of Michigan. This is accomplished by overseeing, evaluating, and reviewing the animal care and use program, procedures, and facilities to ensure compliance with applicable standards, policies, and regulations. Refer to UCUCA website.
Monitoring and oversight comes from UCUCA during regular facility inspections and visits, and by the ULAM veterinary staff in the course of performing their clinical duties. Additionally, in ULAM facilities, the ULAM animal care staff monitors compliance of research staff with posted protocols. These inspections and monitoring efforts are typically directed at the health and welfare of the research animals; however, UCUCA and ULAM staff do have the ability to identify health and safety concerns during their visits and must take the opportunity to identify them to the PI/Supervisor for correction. Issues that go beyond their expertise are referred to OSEH for follow-up and resolution.
OSEH staff performs periodic inspections of all animal research laboratories and housing facilities using a standardized checklist to document any deficiencies identified. The frequency of inspection will be based on the risk involved in the area or operation, but will be a minimum of once per year. This inspection checklist is performed on a PDA based system that automatically generates a report of the inspection. The report is sent to the PI/Supervisor to document the findings and identify any deficiencies noted. The PI/Supervisor is responsible for correcting the deficiencies in a timely manner, or discussing with the OSEH representative a timeline for correction on major items. The PI/Supervisor will sign and date the inspection report when all action items have been corrected. A copy of the completed checklist will be faxed to both OSEH and UCUCA. A follow-up visit will be performed by the OSEH representative within 30 days on any item identified by OSEH as a significant risk to laboratory personnel to ensure corrective measures have been implemented. Failure to correct significant items in a timely manner will require escalation of the issue to higher authorities within the user department.