All warm-blooded vertebrate animals intended to be used for teaching, research, testing, or experimentation at Marshall University must be purchased or otherwise obtained through the DAR office.
The Director of the DAR is responsible for approving the source of the animals. Since animals are an important part of the research study, it is imperative that they be of defined quality in order for the data obtained to be valid and replicable. Therefore, the major criteria for the selection of a vendor should be the suitability and quality of the animal. All scientific arguments from the user will be considered by the DAR in making the selection. The cost of the animals should be considered, but will not be the most important factor in vendor selection. Other considerations in making the decision will be:
- The ability of the vendor to provide the animals as ordered
- Health status of the animals ordered
- Vendor must be a USDA licensed dealer (if applicable)
- Transportation facilities and connections available
- Ethical and fiscal integrity of the vendor
- Previous vendor used if the project is a continuation or collaboration effort
The animal procurement should be discussed with the Director or the Administrative Secretary of the DAR. Because of experience and knowledge he/she will be able to assist in the selection of the most appropriate animal model; acquaint you with services available at Marshall University; apprise you of sources, availability, and costs; and help avoid untimely delays of animal orders due to lack of information.
No animals will be ordered without an approved experimental protocol. Before any animals may be ordered, the investigator must submit to the DAR office an “Application for the Use of Laboratory Animals.” The application will then be submitted to the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) for review at the next meeting. The IACUC meets monthly on the first Wednesday of the month. Animal Use Protocol Applications must be submitted to the DAR office no later than two weeks prior to the scheduled IACUC meeting to be preliminarily reviewed for completeness and to be forwarded to the IACUC members.
After IACUC approval of the protocol and assignment of a protocol I.D. number, the completed form entitled “Laboratory Animal Order Form” should be forwarded to the DAR office. To avoid delays, the investigator should ensure that all pertinent information (species, number of animals needed, their weight/age, sex, and date when needed) is provided, and that the necessary original signatures are affixed.
The Administrative Secretary of the Dar will review the order and ensure the availability of vendor, space, caging, and other services for the project. The requests for animals may be submitted any time. However, to ensure timely delivery and adequate housing, requests should be made as far in advance as feasible.
Orders with rodent vendors are usually placed on Wednesday afternoons for delivery during the following week (usually on Tuesday). In order to be included in the Wednesday ordering process, the Laboratory Animal Order Form must be received in the DAR office by noon on Wednesday.
Shipping to Marshall University for rodents is generally by environmentally controlled truck.
Upon arrival, the animals are inspected by DAR personnel prior to acceptance for correct size, weight, strain, sex and apparent health. At this time the principal investigator or his designated party will be contacted by telephone to inform him/her of the animal arrival. Any abnormality detected later by the user should be promptly reported. If animals are found to be diseased or otherwise unsatisfactory, the DAR may be able to obtain restitution from the vendor. This is particularly true when it can be demonstrated by laboratory findings that the animals were diseased upon arrival or otherwise were not as ordered.
The investigator’s designated account will be charged for the cost of the animals, for freight, any handling charges, and a DAR surcharge which is calculated at 10% of the cost of the animals and shipping. Contact the DAR Administrative Secretary at 696-7373 for additional information on animal prices, air freight/trucking charges, and per diem maintenance costs.