OLAW News

OLAW Conversations will focus on humane endpoints in July!
July 26, 2022, 1:30-3:30 PM ET | Virtual

Please join our panelists, Drs. John Bradfield and Joseph Thulin as they lead a discussion on humane endpoints in biomedical research. The session will explore how to define humane endpoints, evaluate effectiveness, systematically improve the development and evaluation of endpoints at an institutional level, and identify useful resources.

This will be an interactive discussion with scenario-based learning, and attendees will have the opportunity to add to the conversation by sharing their questions, perspectives, and ideas.

Participants are encouraged to submit their questions or hypothetical scenarios on these topics in advance by emailing OLAW.

Register for this free event here.



OLAW welcomes Devora McCoy, MBA, to the Division of Compliance Oversight

We are excited to welcome Devora McCoy into the Division of Compliance Oversight as a Program Analyst! Devora earned her Bachelor of Science in Animal Science from the University of Maryland and her Master of Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Maryland Global Campus. Prior to joining OLAW, she was a research specialist in the Medical Genetics and Ophthalmic Genomics Unit of the National Eye Institute (NEI). Before joining NEI, Devora managed the Quality Assurance Program for Priority One Services and was a trainer at multiple NIH animal facilities for several years. Throughout her career as a trainer at NIH, she enjoyed helping staff grow and expand their knowledge in the laboratory animal science field. Outside of work, Devora is an avid horseback rider and enjoys competing in the Intercollegiate Horse Shows Association as a University of Maryland alumna.



The 9th Annual 3Rs Symposium has been changed to a fully virtual event
June 22-24, 2022 |Virtual

This symposium offers low-cost and convenient continuing education that you can put to practical use in your animal care and use program! Learn how innovations in animal models, experimental design, refinements, and many other areas are changing the way we use animals in research.

The meeting organizers have applied for up to 10 hours of RACE credits to satisfy veterinary continuing education requirements, and reduced registration for federal workers, postdocs, and students.

The final day provides an optional demonstration of practical refinement techniques.

View the full agenda and register for the event here.



Join us for the 9th Annual 3Rs Symposium, a hybrid event offering in-person networking opportunities!
June 22-24, 2022 | Baltimore, MD, and Virtual Options

Learn how innovations in animal models, experimental design, refinements, and many other areas are changing the way we use animals in research!

This symposium has applied for RACE credits to satisfy veterinary continuing education requirements and offers reduced registration for federal workers, postdocs, and students.

June 22 and 23 feature presentations and panel discussions from international leaders in animal research and welfare, with Q & A time built-in for virtual participants and networking opportunities for in-person attendees. The final day provides an optional demonstration of practical refinement techniques for in-person attendees.

Come visit the Baltimore/Washington D.C. area or choose convenient and lower-cost virtual attendance.

View the full agenda and register for the event here.



OLAW Conversations sessions are scheduled for May and June!

Do you have questions on how to optimize your institution’s animal care and use training programs? Would you like information on identifying, addressing, and preventing IACUC dysfunction? Join us to hear from expert presenters and exchange ideas with your animal care and use colleagues!

On May 26, Drs. William Singleton and Shannon Stutler will lead a discussion on training programs, and on June 1, Drs. George Babcock and Ron Banks will lead a discussion on dysfunctional IACUCs and what to do about them.

Participants are encouraged to submit their questions or hypothetical scenarios on these topics in advance by emailing OLAW.

Register for these free events here.



Register Now: “Animal Welfare in High Containment or Barrier Facilities: Addressing Unique Challenges”
June 9, 2022 | 1:00 – 2:00 PM ET

In this presentation, Cassandra Tansey, DVM, DACLAM, will present some of the unique welfare challenges faced when conducting animal research in high containment facilities and provide a framework for institutions to utilize when evaluating and addressing animal welfare in high containment or barrier facilities.

If you have any questions for Dr. Tansey in advance of the webinar, please submit them to olawdpe@mail.nih.gov by June 1, 2022.

Register for the webinar here. To view past webinars by date or topic, visit our Webinars and Podcasts page.

Two people in bubble suits in a high containment area, hooked up to air hoses.

 



Commentary on Lab Animal Protocol Review Column: May 2022 Issue
A lab conducts two very similar animal research procedures. Each procedure has an IACUC-approved protocol. However, the protocols differ in the anesthesia used. The lab mistakenly uses the anesthetic from one protocol on the procedure from the other protocol. There were no animal welfare implications. Is this reportable to OLAW and/or USDA? Download the article and associated commentary from OLAW here: Lab Animal 2022; Vol 51(05) (PDF).

Visit the Guidance section on the OLAW website for updated Commentary on Lab Animal Protocol Review columns. To further explore this and other topics, browse the OLAW Topic Index. For additional information, visit OLAW.



Changes at OLAW!

OLAW would like to welcome Dr. Temeri Wilder-Kofie, who has recently joined OLAW’s Division of Assurances as an Animal Welfare Program Specialist. She received her DVM from Tuskegee University School of Veterinary Medicine. She subsequently joined the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service as a Veterinary Medical Officer. Dr. Wilder then became the first resident in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Laboratory Animal Medicine Residency Program. Upon completion, she served as a facility veterinarian for the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Comparative Medicine Branch at NIH. Dr. Wilder is a Diplomate of the American College of Laboratory Animal Medicine.

In other news,

  • Dr. Neera Gopee is now Associate Director of Animal Welfare Policy in the Office of the Director.
  • Dr. Nicolette Petervary is now Director of the Division of Policy and Education.
  • Dr. Catharine Pritchard has now been commissioned as a Lieutenant officer in the U.S. Public Health Service (USPHS). Dr. Temeri Wilder-Kofie is also a USPHS officer, holding the rank of Commander. Officers serve in agencies across the government, and in addition to their agency positions, serve as responders to critical public health situations across the globe.

 



USDA Webinar: “Is Your Facility Prepared?”
May 11, 2022, 6:00 PM-7:00 PM ET | Virtual

Do you have questions about the new USDA Contingency Rule? This webinar will provide a brief background on the rule, discuss contingency plan requirements, and list sources that could be helpful for facilities to reference in building/establishing a good plan.

Register here.



IACUC Administrators Webinar Series | Virtual

This series from the IACUC Administrators Association provides informative webinars on topics such as IACUC administration, compliance requirements, and IACUC functions. The first two webinars for 2022 will be held in May. “Back to the Basics; Compliance Administration and Veterinary Care” focuses on the roles of the compliance and veterinary care divisions in an institution’s animal care and use program and will be held on May 4. “Back to the Basics; Reviewing a Protocol and the Universal Template Discussion” will be held on May 18 and discusses protocol submission, review, IACUC oversight processes, and development of a freely available standard protocol template form to reduce administrative burden. There will also be additional sessions on other topics later in the summer.

Register for the May 4 session here, and the May 18 session here.

 



IACUC 101 Plus Workshop
May 12 – 13, 2022 | Virtual

The IACUC 101 Plus Workshop will be held virtually over 2 half-days on May 12 and 13, 2022.

This workshop explores IACUC fundamentals and is appropriate for new and seasoned IACUC members, IACUC affiliates, and individuals responsible for their institution's animal care and use program. The course provides a basic yet comprehensive overview of the laws, regulations, and policies that govern the humane care and use of research animals. The USDA and OLAW will have representatives present to provide guidance on compliance issues and to provide agency updates.

Register here for this virtual event.



“Request for Information (RFI) on Flexibilities for Conducting Semiannual Animal Program Review,” is now open and closes on August 01, 2022
We are pleased to announce the release of another joint OLAW and USDA initiative in response to the 21st Century Cures Act – NOT-OD-22-114, “Request for Information (RFI) on Flexibilities for Conducting Semiannual Animal Program Review.” This RFI can be accessed here and will be closing on August 01, 2022, at 11:59 PM.

Although not originally outlined in the report Reducing Administrative Burden for Researchers: Animal Care and Use in Research, OLAW and USDA identified semiannual program reviews as another area to reduce administrative burden. In this RFI, we provide a list of seven clarifications and flexibilities that can be used by institutions when conducting the semiannual animal program review. Clarifications and flexibilities on the following are included:

  • Meeting format and conflicts of interest
  • Using ad hoc consultants
  • Timing for reviewing SOPs
  • Using AAALAC International site visits
  • 30-day flexibilities
  • Reviewing program components on a staggered schedule over 6 months
  • The optional OLAW program review and facility inspection checklist

Additional resources maybe found on our Semiannual Program Review webpage.



Commentary on Lab Animal Protocol Review Column: April 2022 Issue
A PI identified tumor size as a humane endpoint in mice (Peromyscus). A post-approval monitor discovered that over five cages of mice had tumor sizes that exceeded those humane endpoints. The PI explained that the attending veterinarian agreed to the extension of humane endpoints because otherwise study objectives would not have been reached and the mice would have essentially been wasted.

Can a veterinarian, PI, IACUC Administrator, or anyone else unilaterally permit animals to exceed the IACUC-approved humane endpoints without IACUC approval?

Download the article and associated commentary from OLAW here: Lab Animal 2022; Vol 51(04) (PDF).

Visit the Guidance section on the OLAW website for updated Commentary on Lab Animal Protocol Review columns. To further explore this and other topics, browse the OLAW Topic Index. For additional information, visit OLAW.



The webinar recording and associated resources are now available online

The recording, slides, and transcript from our March 10, 2022, webinar titled “21st Century Cures Act: Updates and Your Questions Answered” are now available online.

In this webinar, Drs. Patricia Brown (NIH OLAW) and Elizabeth Theodorson (USDA APHIS Animal Care) discuss recent progress the agencies have made in response to the 21st Century Cures Act. USDA APHIS also announced important news – the discontinuation of teachable moments by October 1, 2022.

Visit this website to view the recording and resources.

If you’re looking for additional resources related to our efforts on the 21st Century Cures Act, visit our webpage to find out about all of our initiatives.



Topics from advancements in refinements to experimental strategies to improve welfare and sound science to successful 3Rs collaborations
June 22-24, 2022 | Hybrid

Join us for an event highlighting the interplay of 3Rs implementation, scientific rigor, and animal welfare to achieve better wellbeing and robust research results. NIH OLAW, Johns Hopkins University Center for Alternatives to Animal Testing, USDA AWIC, and Johns Hopkins University Department of Molecular and Comparative Pathobiology are pleased to offer the 9th Annual 3Rs Symposium: Collaboration to Improve Animal Welfare and Rigorous Results. This 3-day symposium includes presentations and panel discussions from biomedical researchers, animal welfare scientists, veterinarians, and animal care experts. The final day features a demonstration of refinement techniques. The conference also incorporates breakout sessions where participants can converse with and pose questions to the speakers.

This workshop has applied for RACE credits and offers reduced registration for federal workers, postdocs, and students. Come learn how innovations in animal models, experimental design, refinements, and many other areas are changing the way we use animals in research!

Register for the event here.



OLAW Conversations: "21st Century Cures Act Community Q and A"
March 31, 2022, from 1:30 – 3:30 PM ET

Do you have questions about the 21st Century Cures Act initiatives from OLAW and the USDA? Would you like to know more about how to implement flexibilities outlined in recent guidance? Drs. Patricia Brown from OLAW and Elizabeth Theodorson from the USDA will lead this session dedicated to your questions, concerns, and comments!

The 21st Century Cures Act, Section 2034(d), directed the NIH, USDA, and FDA to “complete a review of applicable regulations and policies for the care and use of laboratory animals and to make revisions, as appropriate, to reduce administrative burden on investigators while maintaining the integrity and credibility of research findings and the protection of research animals.” In response to this directive, a working group from the NIH, USDA, and FDA identified regulations and policies that contribute to administrative burden. It released a report in 2019 detailing the planned actions of the three agencies.

OLAW Conversations is a series from OLAW and the ICARE Project that focuses on hot topics in the animal care and use community. The sessions are discussion-based, where information is presented by subject matter experts, and attendees add to the conversation by sharing their ideas, perspectives, and questions. Experts will also weigh in on participant discussion to offer insights and ensure regulatory compliance, where applicable.

Participants are welcome to submit their questions on these topics in advance by emailing OLAW.

Register for this free event here.

 

 



Commentary on Lab Animal Protocol Review Column: March 2022 Issue

Dr. Jerry Silverman’s mouse protocol hasn’t been updated for 15 years, including regarding the use of analgesia. The IACUC, however, has updated their veterinary guidelines for analgesia, and Dr. Silverman’s protocol no longer meets them. Is this a noncompliance that is reportable to OLAW? After 15 years of data collection, should Dr. Silverman now be required to amend his protocol and analgesia delivery regimen? Download the article and associated commentary from OLAW here: Lab Animal 2022; Vol 51(03) (PDF).

Visit the Guidance section on the OLAW website for updated Commentary on Lab Animal Protocol Review columns. To further explore this and other topics, browse the OLAW Topic Index. For additional information, visit OLAW.



OLAW Conversations: Low-Stress Handling for Mice and Supportive Care for Laboratory Animals  
March 3, 2022, from 1:30 – 3:30 PM ET

Join us to discover low-stress handling methods for mice and learn about using supportive care as restorative interventions for animals on study. Our panelists, Dr. Elizabeth Nunamaker, Ms. Donna Goldsteen, and Dr. Steven Niemi will discuss how these practices can be utilized to improve animal welfare and the quality of scientific results. Bring your questions regarding techniques, benefits, applications, and implementation at your institution!

OLAW Conversations is a series from OLAW and the ICARE Project that focuses on hot topics in the animal care and use community. The sessions are discussion-based, where information is presented by subject matter experts, and attendees add to the conversation by sharing their ideas, perspectives, and questions. Experts will also weigh in on participant discussion to offer insights and ensure regulatory compliance, where applicable.

Participants are welcome to submit their questions on these topics in advance by emailing OLAW.

Register for this free event here.



Webinars on Grant-related Processes and Common Compliance Scenarios Are Now Available

We’ve posted two sessions from the 2021 NIH Virtual Seminar on Program Funding and Grants Administration on our Webinars and Podcasts webpage.

Research Involving Animals revisits the basics of using animals in NIH-funded research, and:

  • defines 'animal' as it relates to NIH oversight
  • describes the requirements for the Vertebrate Animals Section (VAS) of grant applications
  • discusses the significance of verifying IACUC approval
  • identifies the 3 types of Animal Welfare Assurances, and
  • describes what situations qualify as noncompliances and the implications of noncompliances.

Animals in Research: Tips to Keep Out of the Doghouse will help you avoid running afoul of the most common regulatory mistakes that can interrupt your project. Spend a few minutes with us, listening to real-life examples of problems using animals and how to correct, or better yet, avoid them. The majority of this session uses scenarios to problem-solve and answer common compliance questions.



OLAW Conversations: Improving Enrichment and Handling Practices for Laboratory Fish
February 24, 2022, from 1:30 – 3:30 PM ET

Join us to learn about improving enrichment and handling of laboratory fish to enhance welfare and reduce stress that can impact study results. Dr. Lynne Sneddon, world-renowned expert on fish welfare, will lead the discussion.

OLAW Conversations is a series from OLAW and the ICARE Project that focuses on hot topics in the animal care and use community. The sessions are discussion-based, where information is presented by subject matter experts, and attendees add to the conversation by sharing their ideas, perspectives, and questions. Experts will also weigh in on participant discussion to offer insights and ensure regulatory compliance, where applicable.

Participants are welcome to submit their questions on these topics in advance by emailing OLAW.

Register for this free event here.



Upcoming NAS ILAR workshop: "Animal Welfare Challenges in Research and Education on Wildlife, Non-Model Animal Species, and Biodiversity"
February 9-10, 2022 | Virtual

On February 9-10, 2022, the National Academies of Sciences (NAS), Institute of Laboratory Animal Research (ILAR) will be hosting a virtual workshop titled “Animal Welfare Challenges in Research and Education on Wildlife, Non-Model Animal Species, and Biodiversity.”

As the world confronts issues ranging from biodiversity loss to the emergence of zoonotic diseases, understanding the ecology and biology of wildlife species is more important than ever. This workshop will focus on issues associated with the unique welfare challenges of conducting research with biologically diverse vertebrates living in varied habitats. Wildlife research can be particularly trying for IACUCs because guidance resources sometimes conflict, and recommendations outlined in the current version of the Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals can present challenges.

Workshop discussion topics include:

  • perspectives on animal welfare considerations
  • laws, regulations, and permits associated with fish and wildlife
  • wild animal population concerns
  • the role of veterinarians in wildlife research
  • restraint and handling of animals in the field, and
  • transition of wild animals to captive settings.

This workshop is free to all. To learn more, please visit the workshop website.

 

Pictures of wild animals, like bats, elk, and lizards

 



OLAW Webinar: “21st Century Cures Act - Updates and Your Questions Answered”
March 10, 2022 | 1:00-2:00 PM EST

In this webinar, the speakers will provide updates from the USDA and OLAW on progress in implementing the recommended measures of the 21st Century Cures Act. We also want to hear from you and will answer your questions during this session!

The 21st Century Cures Act, Section 2034(d), directed NIH, USDA, and FDA to “complete a review of applicable regulations and policies for the care and use of laboratory animals and to make revisions, as appropriate, to reduce administrative burden on investigators while maintaining the integrity and credibility of research findings and the protection of research animals.” In response to this directive, a working group from NIH, USDA, and FDA identified regulations and policies that contribute to the administrative burden. It released a report in 2019 detailing the planned actions of the three agencies.

If you have any questions for Drs. Brown and Theodorson regarding 21st Century Cures Act initiatives from their respective agencies, please submit them to olawdpe@mail.nih.gov by February 21, 2022.

Register for the webinar here.



Commentary on Lab Animal Protocol Review Column: February 2022 Issue

Visit the Guidance section on the OLAW website for updated Commentary on Lab Animal Protocol Review columns. In the February 2022 issue, learn what solutions are available when housing used during a proposed study on rats fails to meet Guide requirements. The column explores flexibilities available to IACUCs, including use of performance standards and departures from the Guide based on scientific justification, or for veterinary or animal welfare reasons. Download the article and associated commentary from OLAW here: Lab Animal 2022; Vol 51(02) (PDF).

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



Previous OLAW-issued waivers remain in effect: New waiver requests will be considered on an individual basis

Due to the recent surges in the pandemic throughout the country and the impact on institutions’ operations, the flexibilities described in OLAW’s COVID FAQs are still in effect. Assured institutions with existing approved waivers do not need to request new waivers and may continue to use their waivers if unable to conduct facility inspections on schedule due to COVID-19 restrictions. OLAW will consider new requests for waivers to conduct semiannual inspections on a case-by-case basis. Instructions for requesting waivers may be found in COVID FAQ VIII.11, and additional flexibilities during COVID-19 may be found on this page, too.



OLAW Conversations: Inclusive IACUCs - Effective Ways to Leverage Nonscientist/Nonaffiliated members
February 15, 2022, from 1:30 – 3:30 PM ET

Join us to learn about nonscientist and nonaffiliated members, the important contributions they make to IACUCs, and how to utilize their contributions to improve animal care and use at your institution.

OLAW Conversations is a series from OLAW and the ICARE Project that focuses on hot topics in the animal care and use community. The sessions are discussion-based, where information is presented by subject matter experts, and attendees add to the conversation by sharing their ideas, perspectives, and questions. Experts will also weigh in on participant discussion to offer insights and ensure regulatory compliance, where applicable.

Participants are welcome to submit their questions on these topics in advance by emailing OLAW.

Register for this free event here.



Don’t miss OLAW Conversations: Top Noncompliances from an OLAW, USDA, and AAALAC Perspective
How to Learn from Noncompliances to Build a Better Animal Care and Use Program

This OLAW Conversations takes place this Wednesday, January 19, from 1:30 – 3:30 PM ET, so register now!

Join us to learn about the top three noncompliances based on self-reports to OLAW and USDA inspection data. Participants will also hear AAALAC perspectives on noncompliances and learn from other attendees. This session will focus on using the information on noncompliances to improve animal care and use programs by:

  • determining root causes of noncompliance
  • optimizing corrective plans, and
  • enhancing monitoring and self-assessment.

OLAW Conversations is a series from OLAW and the ICARE Project that focuses on hot topics in the animal care and use community. The sessions are discussion-based, where information is presented by subject matter experts, and attendees add to the conversation by sharing their ideas, perspectives, and questions. Experts will also weigh in on participant discussion to offer insights and ensure regulatory compliance, where applicable.

Participants are welcome to submit their questions on these topics in advance by emailing OLAW.



OLAW Conversations: Top Noncompliances from an OLAW, USDA and AAALAC Perspective: How to Learn from Noncompliances to Build a Better Animal Care and Use Program
January 19, 2022, from 1:30 – 3:30 PM ET

Join us to learn about the top three noncompliances based on self-reports to OLAW and USDA inspection data. Participants will also hear AAALAC perspectives on noncompliances and learn from other attendees. This session will focus on using information on noncompliances to improve animal care and use programs by determining root causes of noncompliance, optimizing corrective plans, and enhancing monitoring and self-assessment.

OLAW Conversations is a series from OLAW and the ICARE Project that focuses on hot topics in the animal care and use community. The sessions are discussion-based, where information is presented by subject matter experts, and attendees add to the conversation by sharing their ideas, perspectives, and questions. Experts will also weigh in on participant discussion to offer insights and ensure regulatory compliance, where applicable.

Participants are welcome to submit their questions on these topics in advance by emailing OLAW.

Register for this free event here.



The recording and resources on OLAW’s December webinar, “Best Practices for Conducting a Search for Alternatives and Finding Animal Model/Model Organism Information” are now available

On December 9, 2021, we presented our live webinar titled, “Best Practices for Conducting a Search for Alternatives and Finding Animal Model/Model Organism Information,” featuring Jessie Kull from the USDA Animal Welfare Information Center (AWIC) and Joelle Mornini from the NIH Library.

In this webinar, our panelists discussed how to find 3Rs (replacement, reduction, and refinement) methods and animal use alternative information in bibliographic databases. They also demonstrated how to find journal articles, patents, NIH-funded research projects, and genetic information related to animal models and model organisms, as well as requirements and resources for the NIH Model Organism Sharing Policy.

If you joined us for the live webinar but experienced audio difficulties, we’ve rerecorded portions of the webinar and you may now watch those portions of the webinar again.

Visit the webinar webpage for the captioned webinar, PDF of the transcript, and a PDF of the slides.


News Archives: [ 2021 ]

Content Questions: E-mail OLAW
Technical Issues: E-mail Webmaster