Animal Care Services
Questions with an asterisk (*) are new or recently updated.
*I utilize Memorial’s Animal Care Services facilities and laboratories for my research. How am I affected?
Your dean or school head has received information from the Office of the Vice-President (Research) regarding an updated framework for a phased approach to returning to on-campus research spaces, fieldwork and face-to-face interactions with research participants. At level 3 and Level 2, the approvals of requests will be provided at the level of dean and school head, with some campus specific processes as outlined in the framework. As of June 25, Memorial has moved to level 2 requests in line with the province’s move to alert level 2, but will drop back to higher levels should the provincial situation change.
You should make contact with your dean or school head if you have specific questions, and ensure that you provide input to the processes that they are leading to solicit, review and approve requests from their faculties and schools. You can learn more about Memorial's plan to resume research activities by reading this June 25 update from our vice-president (research). Updated June 29.
*Can I access Animal Care Services facilities?
As noted above, Memorial is proceeding to resume additional on-campus research activities, fieldwork and research involving face-to-face interactions with research participants in accordance with an updated Framework for a Phased Approach to Returning to On-Campus Research Spaces, Fieldwork and Face-to-Face Interactions with Research Participants.
For resumption of research activities under Level 2 of the COVID-19 Research Working Group (CRWG) Framework, researchers must complete the relevant request forms (see the Face-to-Face Interactions with Research Participants Request Form here; the Fieldwork Request Form here; and the On-Campus Research Request Form here) and submit the forms to their dean or school head (see the framework for campus specific procedures). Once access is granted, researchers are required to co-ordinate with Animal Care Services staff prior to recommencing research activities. Updated June 29.
*What extra precautions are required for working in the animal facilities?
As the numbers of people in the animal facilities increase, physical distancing becomes more challenging, especially in corridors that are less than 6 feet/2m wide. As a result, all researchers, staff and students are now required to wear a mask to enter the animal facilities, and must keep wearing a mask until they have exited the facility. For entry into animal holding rooms, procedure rooms and surgeries Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) requirements continue to be cap, gown, mask, gloves and booties. We will continue to update users if the situation with PPE procurement changes. Updated June 29.
*Can I order animals?
Animal orders can be placed providing researchers have a valid research exemption granted from the dean or department head, as required. Updated June 29.
What do I do if I notice an animal that is not well?
Please contact clinical veterinarian Dr. Kate Wilson at firstname.lastname@example.org. If the matter is urgent, please refer to the phone numbers listed inside the entrance to each facility.
*Will there be training for animal handling and animal procedures?
ACS is working with the Department of Health and Safety to approve standard operating procedures for animal handling and procedure training, where physical distancing is not possible. We anticipate that training will recommence by mid-July. If you have any questions, please contact Anulika Mbakwe at email@example.com. Updated June 29.
*Will all of the Animal Care Services (ACS) staff be present during working hours?
Animal Care Services has returned to full staffing as of June 29. Updated June 29.
*Will the Animal Care Committee (ACC) continue to function during the pandemic?
The committee will continue operations with a subcommittee until September 2020, at which point the full committee membership will once again be involved in decision-making. Please submit all of your questions to Anulika Mbakwe, ACC coordinator, via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Updated June 29.
*My protocol is about to expire. What do I do?
The Animal Care Committee granted three-month extensions on protocols that were due to expire between March and June 2020. For all protocols due to expire after June 2020, please submit your protocol renewal or Annual Report, as required. The Animal Care Committee will work with principal investigators, and Research Grant and Contract Services (RGCS), to ensure continuity of research support for existing protocols. Updated June 29.
*Can I submit a new protocol or an amendment to add a procedure, animals or personnel?
Researchers may submit new protocols or amendments through the Researcher Portal. Please contact Anulika Mbakwe, via email at email@example.com, Animal Care Committee co-ordinator, with any questions about submitting new protocols or amendments. Updated June 29.
*Can we use the break room at the Health Sciences Centre (HSC) facility?
Faculty, staff and students are required to practice social distancing and to follow disinfection procedures as posted. Faculty, staff and students may access the breakroom but social distancing of >2m is required. No more than four people are permitted in the break room at a time. Staggered use of the room may be required. Updated June 29.