Animal Care Personnel
The oversight of the husbandry operation is the responsibility of the Operations Manager, who reports directly to the Director of CCMS. The husbandry supervisors report directly to the operations manager. The animal husbandry staff consists of 37 technicians. (Experience ranges from 30+ years here at MSSM to newly-hired techs.) Current certification among the staff is as follows: LATg (3), LAT (5), ALAT (3). The average experience of the staff is 3-5 years. All technicians are encouraged to pursue AALAS certification by participation in our in-house training program. There are also regional review classes that technicians are encouraged to attend in preparation for taking the exam. Technicians are rotated through all sections of the vivarium to emphasize cross-training and foster teamwork. Continuing education is offered monthly at husbandry staff meetings. All members of the husbandry staff are required to attend. At these meetings special topics are addressed by outside invited speakers (investigators, vendors) or a member of the supervisory/professional staff. Occasional lectures are given by the veterinary staff as well.
Animal Procurement and Transportation
Animals are only purchased from USDA-licensed commercial suppliers or academic institutions. When feasible, site visits are conducted at new vendor sites, at periodic intervals. Vendors are divided into "approved" and "nonapproved" sources. A member of the CCMS veterinary staff evaluates the health monitoring reports from "approved" vendors. Approved sources are allowed to enter the facility based upon previous health history and prior experience of the veterinary staff with the source. No quarantine procedure is required. Suppliers other than the "approved vendors" must provide health reports for review prior to acceptance of the animals into quarantine. All animals received by CCMS are visually examined by the husbandry technician when placed into housing. Order specifications are verified, and the veterinary technical staff is notified if any problems are found. Large animals are also evaluated within 24 hours of arrival by the veterinary technical staff.
All animals are housed in accordance with the USDA and/or recommendations of the PHS and/or Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals, 1996. All of the animal housing rooms are heated and air-conditioned.
Rodents: All rodents in the Icahn Medical Institute and Annenberg barrier are housed in individually-ventilated polysulfone rodent cages. Ventilation is supplied via a HEPA-filtered supply, wall-mounted unit. Exhaust is connected to the building exhaust fans by a flexible hose assembly. Each rack unit holds 140 mouse cages or 35 rat cages. Units are equipped with automatic watering manifolds. Water is filtrated by reverse osmosis (IMI) or autochannel (Annenberg); food is purchased irradiated (Purina Pico #5053). Cages with weanling mice or special studies are provided with water bottles. All other rodents (Atran) are housed in solid bottom polycarbonate rodent cages. Water is provided through water bottles, and food is standard rodent chow (Purina chow #5001). Breeder chow is available (Purina Pico #5058).
Rabbits: Rabbits are single-housed in stainless steel wire floored units. Pans are automatic flushing. Water is supplied automatically, and food is supplied through an intracage "J" feeder.
Guinea pigs: Guinea pigs are housed on contact bedding in large polypropylene cages. They are group-housed 3-5 per cage. Water is supplied through water bottles; food offered ad libitum in "J" feeder.
Swine: Pigs are housed in solid block pens with perforated vinyl-coated flooring. The vendor provides compatibility data to allow pair housing. Automatic watering, food in metal "J" feeders. Pigs are provided with large rubber balls for expression of rooting behavior. Postoperative pigs are generally single-housed in kennels on casters. Floors similar to above, vinyl-coated perforated metal. Water via automatic system, food via "J" feeders.
Nonhuman primates: One-over-one stainless steel squeeze back units. Two types are in place. One unit has three solid sides and an open door region. This unit is being phased out; however, it currently accounts for half of the available cages. The second type of unit has three open sides, one removable side or bottom to make one large cage. Units are designed to promote social housing and/or socialization of species. Water is supplied through automatic watering, and food biscuits are given ad libitum or based upon caloric calculations.
Dogs: Kennels on casters with suspended coated wire floors. Pans are rear flushing in a wall-mounted trough. Water is supplied via automatic system or water bowls. Food is supplied once daily in bowls. Compatible dogs are pair-housed.
Cats: One-over-one, stainless steel cages with metal resting boards. Litter pans are provided for each cat. Food and water are in bowls. Litter pans are cleaned daily.
Laboratory animal diets are fed to all animals. Additional special diets may be purchased from commercial sources as needed.
Type and Source of Food
|Breeder Chow (Pico Diet)||5058|
|Breeder Chow (Pico Diet)||5058|
|Chicken||Layena Chicken Food||---|
|Guinea Pig||Purina||Guinea Pig Chow||5025|
|NH Primate||Purina||Certified Monkey Chow||5048|
|Pig||Purina||Mini Pig Chow||5081|
|Rabbit||Purina||High Fiber Rabbit Chow||5326|