OLAW News

New OLAW COVID-19 Pandemic Contingency Planning Webpage

We know you’re looking for answers on how to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic while maintaining personnel and animal health and well-being, and remaining compliant with the PHS Policy, the Guide, and your OLAW Assurance. And we know you need answers now, all in one place.

We have just released our new OLAW COVID-19 Pandemic Contingency Planning webpage. Here you can find answers to commonly asked questions relating to animal care and use programs during the COVID-19 pandemic, including how to conduct semiannual inspections, program reviews, and IACUC business while maintaining social distancing, and what new charges to your grant are acceptable to ensure animal well-being during the pandemic. We’ve also listed relevant websites, example disaster plans, OLAW guidance, and webinars.

This page is dedicated specifically to COVID-19. We have another, more general page on Disaster Planning and Response Resources, but you’ll find only information specific to pandemics and COVID-19 on the new website. As the COVID-19 situation develops, we’ll post new information and guidance here.

In the meantime, you can always contact us at OLAW@od.nih.gov with questions. You can also subscribe to get the latest updates and guidance delivered directly to your email box by subscribing to our Listserv or follow us on Twitter. The COVID-19 pandemic is a rapidly developing situation but rest assured that we are monitoring the situation very carefully and will be updating guidance as the situation changes.



FASEB Webinar: Animal Research Regulations – Understanding Federal Oversight Mechanisms
March 26, 2020 | 2:00 – 3:00 PM EDT

Register Here!

Biomedical research with animals is guided by a complex set of federal laws and guidelines and understanding how this research is regulated is critical for ensuring proper care and use of laboratory animals. During this webinar, OLAW will join representatives from USDA APHIS Animal Care and the Department of Veterans Affairs to provide an overview of the federal laws that protect laboratory animals, including the Animal Welfare Act and Public Health Service Policy on Humane Care and Use of Laboratory Animals. Participants will also discuss the mechanisms by which federal agencies implement and enforce these regulations. Together, these oversight mechanisms enable researchers to continue expanding scientific knowledge while upholding quality animal care.



NOW POSTED: OLAW Webinar on Pandemic Contingency Planning and Its Impact on Animal Care

OLAW’s webinar, Pandemic Contingency Planning and Its Impact on Animal Care, is now available online at:

https://olaw.nih.gov/education/educational-resources/webinar-2020-03-19.htm.

You’ll also find Resources and Supporting Materials including:

  • NIH Division of Veterinary Resources Continuity of Services Plans
  • Johns Hopkins University COVID-19 Phased Contingency Plan
  • Michigan State University’s Sample Policy for Conducting IACUC Business in the Event of a Pandemic
  • NIH 2008 Pandemic Flu Readiness Plan
  • Slide Handouts
  • Slides, with helpful links

We received many questions prior to the webinar and were unable to address them all within the webinar. We are working diligently to develop answers and will amend them to the end of the transcript. We will post the transcript online as soon as possible.

During these uncharted times, OLAW remains committed to working with our community to maintain human and animal health and well-being. The COVID-19 pandemic is a rapidly developing situation. Rest assured that OLAW is monitoring the situation closely. We will continue to issue updated guidance if the situation becomes sufficiently severe and long-lasting that additional guidance is needed.



Flexibilities for Assured Institutions for Activities of Institutional Animal Care and Use Committees (IACUCs) due to COVID-19

The NIH Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare (OLAW) is deeply concerned about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the ability of Assured institutions to support the well-being of animals and personnel during this public health emergency. In Guide Notice NOT-OD-20-088, we provide information on flexibilities in the PHS Policy on Humane Care and Use of Laboratory Animals (Policy) that are applicable to implementing a pandemic plan for animal care and use programs. In this Notice, you will find measures that institutions may implement for conducting semiannual animal facility inspections and IACUC business, plus how to request a waiver for requirements of the PHS Policy.

Additional guidance for preparing for a pandemic can be found on the OLAW website in the Frequently Asked Questions section, under Institutional Responsibilities, FAQ G9. If OLAW determines that additional measures must be implemented to meet the needs of the research community and funding components, additional guidance will be announced.

For more information, see the NIH Extramural COVID-19 Response webpage.



UPDATE: OLAW Webinar on Pandemic Contingency Planning and Its Impact on Animal Care

Speaker and Enrollment Update
March 19, 2020 | 1:00 – 2:00 PM ET

OLAW is providing the following update to its previous News Flash which announced a special webinar, Pandemic Contingency Planning and Its Impact on Animal Care, to be held March 19, 2020, from 1:00 – 2:00 PM EST. In addition to Drs. Patricia Brown and Brent Morse (OLAW), Dr. Robert M. Gibbens, Acting Associate Deputy Director of USDA, APHIS, Animal Care will now be joining our conversation.

Please remember to submit questions in advance to olawdpe@mail.nih.gov. We will accept questions for both NIH and USDA panelists.

In addition, to accommodate social distancing measures, we are removing the restriction of one connection per location per institution. Those already enrolled in the OLAW Online Seminar series should have received the registration information. Program enrollees may share the link to register with key personnel as appropriate. Our broadcast capacity is limited to 1,000 registrants and we encourage registering early to save a seat.

We are recording the webinar for those not able to attend the live broadcast. It will be posted here as soon as possible after the webinar. 



Special OLAW Webinar: Pandemic Contingency Planning and Its Impact on Animal Care
March 19, 2020 | 1:00 – 2:00 PM ET

Speakers

  • Dr. Patricia Brown, Director, NIH Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare (OLAW)
  • Dr. Brent Morse, Director, Division of Compliance Oversight, OLAW

Are you testing or implementing your institution’s pandemic response plan for the first time? Do you have questions about flexibilities provided by the PHS Policy that may be helpful during a pandemic?

All PHS-assured institutions are required to develop disaster plans that account for both the well-being of animals and consideration of personnel during unexpected events that may compromise ongoing animal care. This includes contingency planning for pandemics such as the current outbreak of COVID-19. Join us for this special webinar to learn about how your institution can prepare for a pandemic that may impact your animal care and use program. We’ll discuss flexibilities provided by the PHS Policy which facilitate social distancing, the importance of cross-training to minimize the number of animal care staff at work, and options your institution may wish to consider that it does not use in the normal operation of its animal care and use program. We will also accept questions on the particular challenges your institution is facing during these uncertain times.

If you’re able, please submit your questions in advance to olawdpe@od.nih.gov

How to Enroll
A one-time enrollment is required to participate in the program. Enrollees receive registration information prior to each event. Find out how to enroll at https://olaw.nih.gov/education/online-seminars.htm.

About OLAW Webinars
The OLAW Online Seminars program is a free webinar series to help IACUCs and IOs explore their responsibilities in the oversight of PHS-funded research that involves the use of live vertebrate animals.

For recordings of past webinars, visit the Webinars and Podcasts webpage.



Preparing for the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Outbreak

OLAW reminds grantee institutions that the Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals requires PHS Assured institutions to have “a disaster plan that takes into account both personnel and animals.” Guidance for preparing for a pandemic can be found on the OLAW website in the Frequently Asked Questions section, under Institutional Responsibilities, FAQ G9.

See also OLAW’s Disaster Planning and Response Resources webpage to find resources for developing plans to prepare for and respond to disasters and public health emergencies that may impact animal care and use programs.

For specific information about COVID-19 and situation updates, see https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html and https://www.nih.gov/health-information/coronavirus.



ICARE Academy: Refining IACUC Function (IA Refining)
Training for U.S. IACUC members and animal program personnel
April 28-30, 2020 | Denver, CO

Register Early & Save! Link to Non-U.S. Government Site - Click for Disclaimer

What is ICARE
The Interagency Collaborative Animal Research Education (ICARE) Project is an initiative of NIH OLAW, USDA APHIS, FDA, BARDA, NSF, and VA that aims to help institutions reduce administrative burden, increase IACUC function, and increase compliance with federal regulations related to animal use in research.

IA Refining is a fast-paced 3-day workshop that provides participants with an understanding of animal welfare oversight concepts, enables them to correct misunderstandings of federal standards, and learn methods for more efficient and effective animal programs and IACUC functioning. Click here Link to Non-U.S. Government Site - Click for Disclaimer  to see the full agenda (subject to change).

Workshop Format
Expanding beyond typical lectures, ICARE uses active learning and scientific teaching by facilitating discussions, solving scenarios, and helping attendees brainstorm solutions to take back to their institutions. Each workshop is capped at 36 people, ensuring an ideal group size that fosters cooperative learning, interaction, and discussion. You will be trained by, and interact directly with, federal, academic, and private-sector faculty who are subject matter experts.

Who Should Attend
IA Refining is recommended for those IACUC and animal program personnel who are already familiar with federal animal welfare oversight standards. If you are new to the IACUC, check out the IA Intro 
Link to Non-U.S. Government Site - Click for Disclaimer  workshop in St. Louis, MO, this September.

To learn more, view other training opportunities in this progressive series, and meet our ICARE Faculty, visit ICARE Project.
 



OLAW Webinar
Building A Research Occupational Health Program
March 12, 2020 | 1:00 – 2:00 PM ET

Speakers

  • Ted Myatt, Sc.D., University of Rhode Island
  • Eileen Morgan, NIH, Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare

Topic
The requirement of a robust research-focused occupational health program can be a challenge for institutions of all sizes. In this webinar, Ted Myatt will talk about strategies to gain support of senior leadership, build a team, develop a sustainable program, and implement continual improvement processes to ensure that your program complies with the requirements described in the Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals, the NIH Guidelines for Research Involving Recombinant or Synthetic Nucleic Acids, and the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Standards. Eileen Morgan will give OLAW’s perspective on essential components of an effective occupational health and safety program.

How to Enroll
A one-time enrollment is required to participate in the program. Enrollees receive registration information prior to each event. Find out how to enroll at https://olaw.nih.gov/education/online-seminars.htm.

About OLAW Webinars
The OLAW Online Seminars program is a free webinar series to help IACUCs and IOs explore their responsibilities in the oversight of PHS-funded research that involves the use of live vertebrate animals.

For recordings of past webinars, visit the Webinars and Podcasts webpage.



Request for Information (RFI) on Implementation of the Updated AVMA Guidelines for the Euthanasia of Animals: 2020 Edition

NIH announced a Request for Information (RFI) in NOT-OD-20-069 to solicit input from the public on any concerns they may have with the updated American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) Guidelines for the Euthanasia of Animals: 2020 Edition ("Guidelines") and provide guidance to Public Health Service (PHS) and National Science Foundation funded institutions on implementation of the updated Guidelines.

Additional information can be found at AVMA Guidelines 2020 

All comments must be submitted electronically by April 29, 2020, at https://grants.nih.gov/grants/rfi/rfi.cfm?ID=105.



7th Annual Symposium: 3Rs: Practical Solutions and Success Stories
Presented by NIH OLAW, Johns Hopkins University Center for Alternatives to Animal Testing, and USDA AWIC
June 4-5, 2020 | Beltsville, MD

NIH OLAW, Johns Hopkins University Center for Alternatives to Animal Testing, and the USDA Animal Welfare Information Center announce that registration is open Link to Non-U.S. Government Site - Click for Disclaimer for the 7th Annual Symposium, 3Rs: Practical Solutions and Success Stories, being held June 4-5, 2020, in Beltsville, MD. Now 60 years after the release of Russell and Burch’s 1959 book, The Principles of Humane Experimental Technique, which reframed and revolutionized the way we use animals in research, we have come together to offer a lineup of internationally recognized experts in the 3Rs. See the full list of speakers hereLink to Non-U.S. Government Site - Click for Disclaimer 

For two full days, we’ll discuss the importance of scientific research for human and animal health, recent success stories in the 3Rs, hot topics from experimental design to publishing, and ground-breaking refinements to traditional animal use in research. Participants are encouraged to share challenges they are facing at their institutions, and break-out sessions will allow participants to interact directly with speakers. We’ll provide hands-on training in the new Experimental Design Assistant, developed to help you design robust and reproducible experiments, leading to fewer numbers of animals needed in your research.

This workshop has applied for RACE credits and offers reduced registration for federal workers, postdocs, and students. Come learn how MiniBrain organoids, animal behavioral training, and hydrophobic sand, among many other topics, are changing the way we use animals in research!

Register Link to Non-U.S. Government Site - Click for Disclaimer early to participate in a special pre-symposium activity on June 3rd –a half-day tour of labs and research centers at the USDA Beltsville Agricultural Research CenterLink to Non-U.S. Government Site - Click for Disclaimer 



Commentary on Lab Animal Protocol Review Column: February Issue

Visit the Guidance section on the OLAW website for updated Commentary on Lab Animal Protocol Review columns. In the February 2020 issue, OLAW and APHIS respond to the topic: Is reproducibility an IACUC’s concern? Download the column here: Lab Animal 2020; Vol 49. (PDF)

To further explore this and other topics, browse the OLAW Topic Index. For additional information, visit OLAW.



The NIH is hosting two Regional Seminars on Program Funding and Grants Administration in 2020. Meet and hear from NIH Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare (OLAW) staff, along with approximately 75 other NIH & HHS experts at the seminar as they discuss over 45 different topics relative to the NIH grants process! We’ll be available to meet with you during the “1:1 Meet the Experts” sessions, so bring your questions and come see us.

Registration is already open for the spring Regional Seminar being held in Baltimore, MD, on April 20-22.

Can’t make it to Baltimore? Join us this fall in Nashville, TN, on October 28-30. Registration opening soon.

To find out more, check out the NIH Regional Seminars on Program Funding and Grants Administration home page. We hope to see you at the Regional Seminars in 2020!



ICARE Academy: Introduction to IACUC Function (IA Intro)
Introductory Training for IACUC Members and Animal Program Personnel
March 2-3, 2020 | Durham, NC

Register Now and Save! Link to Non-U.S. Government Site - Click for Disclaimer

What is ICARE
The Interagency Collaborative Animal Research Education (ICARE) Project is an initiative of NIH OLAW, USDA APHIS, FDA, BARDA, NSF, and VA that aims to help institutions reduce administrative burden, increase IACUC function, and increase compliance with federal regulations related to animal use in research.

About IA Intro
Join us at our upcoming workshop ICARE Academy: Introduction to IACUC Function (IA Intro) March 2-3, 2020 in Durham, NC.
Link to Non-U.S. Government Site - Click for Disclaimer IA Intro is ideal for personnel who are new to the program, newly promoted, or who seek a review of the federal animal welfare oversight standards.

Workshop Format
Expanding beyond typical lectures, ICARE uses active learning and scientific teaching by facilitating discussions, solving scenarios, and helping attendees brainstorm solutions to take back to their institutions. Each workshop is capped at 36 people, ensuring an ideal group size that fosters cooperative learning, interaction, and discussion. You will be trained by, and interact directly with, federal, academic, and private sector faculty who are subject matter experts.

Learning Objectives
IA Intro is a comprehensive 2-day workshop that introduces participants to the regulations and guidelines of the U.S. federal agencies that oversee animal welfare at research institutions. A wide range of topics will be covered, from what to report, to veterinary verification and consultation (VVC), to site visits and inspections! Click here
Link to Non-U.S. Government Site - Click for Disclaimer to see the full agenda (subject to change).

To learn more, view other training opportunities in this progressive series, and meet our ICARE Faculty, visit ICARE Project.



AVMA Guidelines for the Euthanasia of Animals: 2020 Edition
Notice of Intent to Seek Public Comments on Updated AVMA Guidelines for Euthanasia

The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) has issued and posted an update to the 2013 Guidelines for the Euthanasia of Animals, the AVMA Guidelines for the Euthanasia of Animals: 2020 Edition Link to Non-U.S. Government Site - Click for Disclaimer. OLAW encourages PHS-Assured institutions to begin using the 2020 Guidelines when reviewing research projects as soon as possible. An announcement from OLAW seeking public comments on implementation of the updated Guidelines is coming soon.

 



NWABR IACUC Conference
Embracing the Future: IACUC Excellence in the Northwest
February 27, 2020 | Seattle, WA

The Northwest Association for Biomedical Research (NWABR) will hold its 2020 IACUC Conference on February 27, 2020, in Seattle, WA. This one-day conference for IACUC members, veterinarians, animal care staff, and researchers covers hot topics related to animal care and use, led by facilitators from around the U.S.

In conjunction with the University of Washington, NWABR will again host the Bridging the Gap tour of local animal care facilities and programs on February 28, 2020.

Learn more at the
NWABR IACUC Conference
Link to Non-U.S. Government Site - Click for Disclaimer



Commentary on Lab Animal Protocol Review Column: January Issue

Visit the Guidance section on the OLAW website for updated Commentary on Lab Animal Protocol Review columns. In the January 2020 issue, OLAW and APHIS respond to the topic: If a researcher disagrees with a veterinarian’s recommendations, whose say goes? Download the column here: Lab Animal 2020; Vol 49. (PDF)

To further explore this and other topics, browse the OLAW Topic Index. For additional information, visit OLAW.



ICARE Academy: Refining IACUC Function (IA Refining)
Advanced Training for IACUC Members and Animal Program Personnel
January 14-16, 2020 | Tampa, FL

It’s not too late. Register today! Link to Non-U.S. Government Site - Click for Disclaimer

There is still time to join us in sunny Tampa, FL, for the IA Refining workshop. Register now Link to Non-U.S. Government Site - Click for Disclaimer and kick off the new year with advanced training for IACUC members and animal program personnel.

You will learn about IACUC and institutional responsibilities to optimize animal welfare, increase compliance, and minimize regulatory burden. A wide range of topics will be covered, from what to report, to veterinary verification and consultation (VVC), to site visits and inspections! 

Learn more and this and other ICARE workshops by visiting ICARE Project.

The Interagency Collaborative Animal Research Education (ICARE) Project is an initiative of the NIH Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare, USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, Food and Drug Administration, Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, National Science Foundation, and Department of Veterans Affairs.



Diversifying the Research Organism Landscape
A Free Webinar Presented by FASEB and NIH
January 21, 2020 | 2:00 – 3:00 PM ET

The Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB) and the National Institutes of Health, National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIH NIGMS) are excited to offer a free webinar on January 21, 2020, on rare research organisms and why it is important to choose the appropriate animal model for each research question.

Scientists understand that quality, reproducible science depends on many factors, including using the best resources to answer scientific questions. However, an important question to consider when designing a research project: Are we leading with the scientific question first, or do we select the research organism we know and try to tailor the research according to the model’s characteristics? This webinar will explore these subtle, yet very distinct research approaches and experts will discuss the importance of selecting the appropriate organism for various research topics. To illustrate this point, participants will share examples from their research using lesser-known species, and discuss the opportunities and challenges associated with studying a variety of research organisms.

Learn more Link to Non-U.S. Government Site - Click for Disclaimer and register here Link to Non-U.S. Government Site - Click for Disclaimer. A recording of the webinar will be posted on the FASEB website when available.


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