Office of Research Administration

Division of Comparative Medicine

Frequently Asked Questions


Animals orders MUST be made through the DCM administrative office. This can be done on line through RPM or by emailing a completed DCM Animal Purchase Request Form to animal_orders@downstate.edu. The request will be processed by the DCM office BSB 9-006 . The Animal Purchase Request Forms must include an approved protocol number, the species, sex, strain, amount needed, preferred vendor and the principal investigator's signature. DCM will acquire a purchase request number after receiving the Animal Purchase Request and the signed Research Foundation Purchase Request Forms. Incomplete forms cannot be processed.
Once you have received IACUC protocol approval, orders must be placed by Thursday before 3:00 p.m.
Animals are received according to the schedule described below. Animals will typically be housed by 1:00 p.m. on the day of arrival. If you require any animal prior to 1:00 p.m. or you do not need them to be housed, state on the Animal Purchase Request Form.
Charles Rivers - Tuesday
Taconic, Jackson and Harlan - Wednesday
When submitting an Animal Purchase Request Form to the DCM office answer all the question pertaining to setting up a standing order. It is highly recommend that all time pregnant rodents that are needed on a regular basis be placed on a standing order. This is to insure vender availability. All standing orders must be cancelled in writing one week in advance of cancellations.
Requesting animals from another institution requires a rodent import request form regardless if it's a purchase, transfer, or donation. Please remember that if you want to receive a mouse genotype that is not specifically listed on an IACUC approved protocol, you must submit a new mouse genotype protocol amendment before DCM can process the import request** The form must be accompanied by a current health certificate from the institution of origin. All animals that are accepted must undergo a 3-4 week quarantine period prior to release into the general rodent population. The completed rodent import request forms are to be emailed to animal_orders@downstate.edu.
Contact DCM 's Operations Manager at x 1194 to obtain a current health report. DCM will assist you obtaining shipping material and information on overnight courier services. The individual shipping the animals must handle all arrangements and payment of the shipment.
Transfer between investigators and protocols must be approved and completed by DCM staff. Submit a completed Animal Transfer form and submit by fax (718) 270-4095 or by email to the DCM office.
Yes. Mouse Breeding and Cage Density Policy update:

The Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee and DCM have updated the mouse breeding and cage density policy at SUNY Downstate. This updated policy includes a review of the benefits of the two most commonly used breeding schemes while also ensuring that our biomedical research community complies with the national standards and recommendations contained within the 8th Edition of the Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animal (NRC 2011).

Definitions
Adult mouse
Any mouse that is of weaning age or older and able to eat solid food and reach the water source.
Post partum estrus
Female mice may undergo fertile estrus 14-24 hours following delivery of a litter of pups. Females that are housed with a male when they give birth to a litter can therefore become pregnant and give birth to a second litter around the time of the weaning date of the first litter, which can lead to overcrowding.
Delayed weaning
There may be instances where a litter has passed its weaning date but is unable to be weaned due to small size or inability to access food or water due to phenotype.
Mouse pup
Term for any neonatal or young mouse up to ~21 days of age; a grouping of pups from the same mother is called a litter of pups.
Breeding Scheme*

Monogamous or Pair Breeding = ONE (1) adult male and ONE (1) adult female.

  • Advantages of pair breeding:
    • The Principal Investigator may manage their own mouse colonies provided there is timely weaning of litters to prevent overcrowding.
    • This is the preferred method to prevent overcrowding
    • Maximizes productivity of females by utilizing post-partum estrus
    • Offers an extended nursing time for strains known to be small and slow growing (wean by 28 days)
    • Allows identification of the dam of the litter

Trio Breeding = ONE (1) adult male and TWO (2) adult females.

  • Advantage of trio breeding:
    • Maximizes productivity of females by utilizing post-partum estrus
    • More efficient use of males
  • Restrictions of trio breeding:
    • Requires IACUC approval; close monitoring is required to avoid overcrowding - DCM must oversee the management of all trio breeding mouse colonies.
    • Pups born into the cage with the male must be weaned at 21 days.
    • May require allocation of reserve housing for placement of separated pregnant females.

* note only one male is permitted per cage.

The USDA Animal Welfare Act Regulations (AWARs) and the Public Health Service Policy on the Humane Care and Use of Laboratory Animals (PHS Policy) stipulate that the IACUC must conduct continuing reviews of previously approved research activities. [1]

Conducting research activities [2] under a protocol that has expired constitutes a serious violation of both the AWARs and PHS Policy, and is therefore unacceptable under any circumstance. Upon expiration of an approved animal activity, the Principal Investigator (PI) will be notified that all animal-related research activities covered by that protocol must be stopped in accordance with PHS and IACUC Policy. In order to prevent lapses in protocol coverage, animals attached to the expired protocol, whether naïve or part of an active experiment, shall be transferred to the DCM Holding Protocol and care provided per DCM routine SOPs or as described in the holding protocol. PI and research study staff access to these animals will be restricted and limited to DCM staff only during the period of protocol expiration. Animals assigned to the Holding Protocol may be returned to the PI's control only after submission and approval of an IACUC protocol.

PHS Funded Studies: The Office of Management and Budget Cost Principles and the NIH Grants Policy Statement (NIHGPS) do not permit use of contract or grant funds for the conduct of animal activities during a lapse in IACUC approval or suspension of animal activities [3]. If animal activities are expected to resume at a later time, please contact the DCM Office Manager at ext. 3812 to provide an account number that is not tied to federal funds. Costs incurred during the period of expiration or suspension related to maintenance and care of animals will be billed to the non-PHS account at a rate 2 times higher than the usual per diem rate.


[1] USDA AWARs § 2.31(d)(5) and PHS Policy IV.C.5

[2] "Research activities" includes any experimental manipulations (e.g., surgery, collection of blood, collection of tissue for genotyping, behavioral testing), special housing conditions (e.g., special diet or feeding/watering schedule, special light cycle, special cage changing cycle), collection of tissues at euthanasia for postmortem analysis, setting up breeding pairs, or any other collection of data from animals under that protocol.

[3] NIH Guidance Document NOT-OD-07-044