Division of Laboratory Animal Medicine
DLAM serves as a central administration division for the operation of two research animal holding facilities, the SVM Laboratory Animal Medicine Facility and the Life Sciences Animal Care Facility.
DLAM purchases, maintains, and cares for all teaching and research animals housed within these two facilities. The animal care facilities, equipment, and program are accredited by the Association for Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care (AAALAC) International.
Our objective is to maintain a fully accredited animal care program that supports teaching, research, and service.
The use of laboratory animals in teaching and research is a fundamental necessity of continued progress in the biomedical sciences. Such use of animals constitutes a special privilege to the scientific community. Therefore, it is incumbent upon each investigator and every member of their staff to fulfill all ethical as well as legal responsibilities. Therein lies much of the hope for continued medical progress for the benefit of animals as well as humanity.
Investigators Handbook and Procedures Manual
Husbandry and veterinary care for animals used in teaching and research on the LSU campus and in the School of Veterinary Medicine are provided by the Division of Laboratory Animal Medicine (DLAM).
Standards of care and use for all animals conform to all applicable standards and regulations as established by the current version of the Animal Welfare Act and the Guide to the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals.
This program and its facilities are currently certified through a semiannual inspection by the Institutional Animal Care and use Committee (IACUC).
LSU's animal program is fully accredited by the Association for the Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care (AAALAC) and meets all NIH assurance requirements.
The Life Sciences Animal Care Facility also has full AAALAC accreditation.
Occupational Health Program for Animal Users
Background and Purpose
The LSU IACUC, through the Division of Laboratory Animal Medicine (DLAM) operates an Occupational Health & Safety Program (OHSP). The purpose of the program is to maintain an OHSP for personnel involved in the care and use of animals: to obtain an accurate assessment of the health status of each employee prior to working with animals, to help prevent occupation-related disorders, and to help identify emerging occupation-related health disorders, so they can be promptly diagnosed and corrected. Participation in this program is mandatory for all personnel working with LSU-owned and field based animals utilized in teaching, research, and testing. Program participants include facility services personnel, animal caretakers, principal investigators, scientific technical staff, graduate students, student workers, and post-doctoral and visiting scientists. Medical information is maintained as confidential and is retained by the LSU Student Health Center.
Part of this program is a risk assessment to identify, evaluate, manage, and reduce potential health risks associated with the care and use of animals at the institution. Medical surveillance is a critical component of effective occupational health programs and involves the evaluation of health risks associated with an individual’s exposure to animals and hazardous agents. The initial evaluation establishes a baseline of an individual’s health and potential exposure risks. Subsequent updates help assess an individual’s changing risks. In many cases, an initial risk assessment is all that is necessary. For some individuals, however, a clinical examination and vaccination(s) may be required as well.
NOTE: When infected animals are to be housed in ABSL3 facilities, then all personnel working with the animals must complete the Medical Questionnaire and schedule a physical examination with the OH&S Physician at the LSU Student Health Center.
The Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals requires an occupational health and safety program, and it “must” be part of the overall animal care and use program.
To participate in the OHSP, each person who will have contact with animals or who may be exposed to chemical or infectious animal waste, will be required to complete a confidential health questionnaire. In order to provide the most accurate information on the questionnaire, employees should discuss with his/her supervisor any potential physical, chemical, or infectious risks or hazards to which the employee may be exposed while working with animals.
Individuals at increased risk of illness or injury due to drug-related immune suppression, HIV infection, pregnancy, concurrent illness, musculoskeletal problems, etc. are strongly advised to disclose and discuss these risks with the OH&S physician at the LSU Student Health Center, or with their family physician.
- Program Operation:
- In consultation with the principal investigating supervisor, each new and continuing animal worker completes an initial heath questionnaire and submits it directly to the OH&S physician. RISK ASSESSMENT QUESTIONNAIRE
- Using the information provided in the questionnaire, the OH&S physician reviews and assesses the risks and hazards to which the person may be exposed in the course of carrying out their assigned duties. Each program participant is assigned a risk level (very high, high, moderate, low) indicative of the type and extent of contact with animals or their waste products, as well as other physical, chemical, or microbiological hazards to which they may be exposed in the vivaria.
- Based on assigned risk level, the OH&S physician may request additional medical information through completion of a medical health questionnaire, and consultation with the program participant, and may perform a physical examination, diagnostic tests, and/or administer immunizations.
- The LSU Student Health Center establishes and maintains a medical record for each program participant, and includes in that record, copies of the risk and health questionnaires.
- The OH&S physician notifies the IACUC, regarding completion of program requirements, as well as clearance of the program participant to perform their assigned animal-related duties.
- The program participant and supervisor are notified of any restrictions or precautions needed in work assignments.
- Illness or Injury: All medical conditions, including work-related injuries, must be reported to the program participant’s direct supervisor. The program participant may be required to contact the Injury Call Center (1-877-764-3574) for telephone assessment and instruction regarding local medical providers. Severe injuries may be referred to nearby hospitals or emergency services.
- Use of Personal Physicians: Program participants retain the option to obtain medical care from a private physician under the following conditions:
- The LSU OHSP Medical Health Questionnaire must be completed and presented to the private physician prior to or at the time of the office visit.
- Confirmation of the office visit, immunizations administered, and recommendations for work restriction, are to be sent to the LSU Student Health Center to the attention of Dr. Amy Ordeneaux.
- The LSU Student Health Center will establish and maintain a medical record for each program participant, and will include in that record, copies of the risk and health questionnaires.
- The LSU Student Health Center physician will notify the program participant, their supervisor, and the IACUC, regarding completion of program requirements, as well as clearance of the program participant to perform their assigned animal-related duties.
- The program participant and supervisor will be notified of any restrictions or precautions needed in work assignments.
The IACUC has the responsibility to verify that a risk assessment has been completed before an individual is allowed to work with animals. Individuals will not be granted access to animal areas until they have completed the risk assessment. Individuals will not be able to be added to an approved IACUC protocol until they are enrolled in the program.
Animal Facility Resource Description for Grants
Louisiana State University and A & M College endorses and complies with the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) position statement regarding animal welfare, and complies with the guidelines as stated in the National Institutes of Health's ( NIH) Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals, 2011.
This institution also endorses the position of the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges (AAVMC) regarding animal welfare, and complies with the provisions of the School of Veterinary Medicine, Division of Laboratory Animal Medicine (DLAM) Investigator Handbook and Procedures Manual (available under the tab on this page).
In addition, this institution is fully accredited by the Association for the Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care, International (AAALAC), indicating verified compliance with the requirements for the proper care and treatment of all vertebrate laboratory animals, irrespective of species, location, investigator, use, or funding source.
Lastly, the University has on file with the Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare (OLAW), an approved Assurance Statement (#D16-00372).
All animal care is under the centralized jurisdiction of the Interim Director of the DLAM, Rhett Stout, DVM, PhD (LSU 1994, 2003), Diplomate ACLAM.
DLAM staff includes a Program Manager, a Chief Clinical Veterinarian, an Assistant Director, two veterinary residents in laboratory animal medicine, three area supervisors and approximately 15 animal caretakers.
There are approximately 45,000 square feet of animal housing in two facilities.
Animals housed include dogs, cats, swine, horses, cattle, sheep, goats, psittacines, reptiles, poultry, fish, amphibians, rodents, rabbits, and nonhuman primates.