The ACC Connection

The ACC Connection

The IACUC Connection

Volume 8, no.2, SPRING2014

WELCOMEto the 30thedition of theIACUC Connection,a quarterly newsletter designed to help researchers with questions regarding animal research at the University of Connecticut Health Center. Our 30thissue is going to discuss non-compliance.

The ACC has changed its name to IACUC

The Animal Care Committee (ACC) has changed its name to the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) to both stress the oversight of use of laboratory animals and to come in line to what other oversight committees are called. The regulations identify the animal oversight bodies as IACUCs. Remnants of ACC will remain – for instance, our office mailbox is still and our website address is still

IACUC Website

We cannot stress how important it is for researchers to get to know the IACUC website. The address is Anything you could want to know about animal use here at the UCHC is on that website. You can find everything from IACUC meeting dates and submission deadlines to training classes to how to enroll in the occupational health surveillance program. There are numerous helpful links to help you with protocol development and animal work here at the UCHC.

TOPAZ Electronic Animal Protocol Development System

We are starting our 4th year with Topaz. As most of you will agree, it has been a difficult road at times. We want to caution you that it probably won’t be getting much better; or, in other words, this is it.

Helpful Hints and Suggestions

Copying and pasting material into Topaz. Some people have had issues with their copied material being italicized or underlined. There is a way to stop this, but it will require some effort on your part. You copy your material into NotePad or WordPad. Save it. Then copy it from NotePad or WordPad into Topaz. This should fix any formatting issues.

Reviewing changes between protocols. It is easy to see changes between your protocols. When you open up a protocol, you have the ability to compare it with any other version of that protocol. Simply click on the large red compare flag that is up at the top of the screen. A screen will generate asking you which version you want to open up for the comparison. Click on the version you want to open. The two protocols will now be side-by-side on your desktop. To see what the differences are, click on the small compare flag that is above the “outline” section. This will highlight all sections where changes have been made. Then go to the section you want to review. You can also run a report of the changes. Simply click on the print icon and select “Protocol Compare Report”. You will then get a print-out of all sections where changes have been noted.

Copying protocols for 3 year renewals. This is tricky! Unfortunately, we were informed that if we changed the protocol form, we could still use the copy feature. This turned out to be inaccurate. If you are on an old form, you will NOT be able to copy the protocol for your three year renewal. New forms were used starting in January, 2013, so this feature will not be available until the Fall of 2015 for protocols that were submitted after 1/1/13 on the new form. We apologize for this.

Looking up the review status of your protocol. This is really easy. You have real-time information regarding where the protocol is in the submission process. Simply open up your protocol. Click on the blue circle with the white “i” in it. A screen will generate. Click on the “Reviews” tab and you can see if your protocol has been processed, the review due dates, if it is a full committee review or a designated member review, and, if it is a full committee review, to what date IACUC meeting date has the protocol been assigned.

Occupational Health Surveillance Program

All enrollments and re-enrollments in the Occupational Health Surveillance (OHS) program are done electronically. There are no exceptions to this. But there are different ways to do this depending on what your employment status is at the UCHC.

If you are a UCHC employee and you have an email account that ends with “”, then your enrollment is particularly easy. You have access to a SharePoint program for enrolling/re-enrolling in OHS. You go to the link on the website ( scroll down to the middle of the page, and click on the Mandatory Annual Certificate of Enrollment (MACE) form. The OHS questionnaire will open up. You simply complete it and hit the submit button.

If you do not have an email account that ends with “”, then your enrollment is done by a PDF form. You need to type in the PDF link into your browser ( and the MACE form will open up. You complete the form. When you submit, you need to click on BOTH submission buttons. One submits the form to Employee Health Service and the other submits an email to the IACUC office that you have submitted the MACE form to EHS. The only time this is an issue is if you are using a mail system that is not compatible with Microsoft Outlook. If this is an issue, you will get an error message. Simply save the completed .pdf form to your computer and then attach it to an email to the EHS office at and to the IACUC office at .

You should NEVER enroll or re-enroll in the OHS program unless you have been specifically instructed to do so by the IACUC office.

CO2 Euthanasia of Laboratory Rodents

We have a new requirement starting January 1, 2014 regarding the CO2 euthanasia of laboratory rodents at the UCHC. We are requiring the use of the Euthanex® system when using CO2. This includes the CCM Tower, the MARB animal facility, the CGSB animal facility, and any laboratory location that performs euthanasia of animals with the aid of CO2. There were many reasons that the IACUC considered when making this decision. The committee feels this is necessary in order to comply with the most recent (2013) edition of the AVMA Guidelines for the Euthanasia of Animals: which considers the use of CO2 for euthanasia to be acceptable with the following conditions: (1) a displacement rate of 10% to 30% of the chamber volume/minute; (2) that flow is maintained for at least 1 minute after respiratory arrest; and (3) that CO2 is supplied in a precisely regulated and purified form without contaminants. The practice of immersion, where conscious animals are placed directly into a container prefilled with 100% CO2, is now unacceptable. (2013 AVMA Guidelines, pages 25-26).

As a general rule, a gentle death, which occurs slowly, is preferable to a rapid, but more distressing death. CO2-assisted euthanasia is a potentially distressful event for animals because of three possible mechanisms: (1) pain due to the formation of carbonic acid in respiratory and ocular membranes; (2) production of so-called air hunger and a feeling of breathlessness; and (3) direct stimulation of ion channels within the amydala that are associated with a fear response. As with other inhaled agents, time to unconsciousness with CO2 is dependent on the displacement rate, container volume, and concentration that is used. If an appropriate gradual displacement rate is used, the veterinary consensus is that animals will lose consciousness before CO2 concentrations become painful.

During our recent AAALAC site visit this spring, the reviewers had specific concerns that CO2 euthanasia at UCHC was not being performed in accordance with the 2013 AVMA Guidelines because of inappropriate regulators and flow meters on all CO2 euthanasia stations that were inspected. The reviewers found that the flow rates that were used by all inspected CO2 regulators for euthanasia at UCHC were not appropriately or finely-enough calibrated to meet the revised AVMA Guidelines.

The IACUC office has maintained post-site visit communications with AAALAC to inform them that we are going to require the use of a standardized system to ensure compliance with the 2013 AVMA Guidelines. AAALAC is also in the process of generating a policy statement by January, 2014, requiring that CO2 euthanasia be performed with appropriate pressure-reducing regulators and flow meters, which generate a displacement rate of 10-30% of the chamber volume/minute.

AAALAC has approved the use of the Euthanex® CO2 system for euthanasia at other facilities; therefore, we are confident that its use at UCHC will ensure that we are compliant with the 2013 AVMA Guideline and AAALAC policy requirements. Our goal is to have this standardized system in use globally at UCHC by January 1, 2014.

The revised AVAMA and AAALAC requirements leave the IACUC with little choice but to require that by January 1, 2014 principal investigators decide whether they want the convenience of performing CO2 euthanasia in their laboratory or if they will use the Euthanex® CO2 systems provided at various stations in CCM. If you want to euthanize laboratory animals with the aid of CO2 in your laboratory, then you must purchase and use the Euthanex® CO2 regulator system. If you do not want to purchase the Euthanex® system, then after January 1, 2014 you will no longer be allowed to euthanize animals in your laboratory and must use a CO2 station within the CCM Animal Tower, the MARB animal facility, or the CGSB animal facility.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I have to purchase this Euthanex® system? How do I get one?

You must purchase the Euthanex® system if you want to perform CO2 euthanasia in your laboratory. You can contact the Center for Comparative Medicine regarding the purchase of this system. If you do not purchase this system, you cannot euthanize animals by CO2 in your laboratory. There will be no exceptions to this mandate.

Are we always going to have Topaz or will we get something new?

We wish we could answer this question. Many people would like to see Topaz go away. At this point, it is what we have to work with. Play around with it a bit and learn how to use it. It really isn’t that complicated once you get a handle on it. But this takes some time and effort on your part. There are rumors of other systems that we may be required to use in the future, but we have no concrete information on that.

If you have questions you’d like to see answered in future issues, please send them to and we will do our best to answer as many questions as possible.

Upcoming Training, April 2014 – June 2014

New Animal Users InitialBasic Core Training

Monday, December 169:00 am – 12:00 pmLow Learning Center

Monday, January 139:00 am – 12:00 pmLow Learning Center

Monday, February 109:00 am – 12:00 pmLow Learning Center

Monday, March 109:00 am – 12:00 pmLow Learning Center

New Institutional, State, or Federal Regulations


Please review all of our IACUC Policies. They are located on the web at All animal users are responsible for knowing and complying with all IACUC approved policies.




AVMA Guidelines for the Euthanasia of Animals: 2013 edition. You can see the report on the website at

The Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals, 8th edition, 2012. You can see the new guide on the website at

Important Reminders to Principal Investigators

۞ When an individual leaves your laboratory, and is no longer an active animal user, you must contact the IACUC Office () with this information.

۞ If any unexpected morbidity and/or mortality occurs in any experimental animal, you must contact the IACUC office () with this information.

۞ Always remember to list ALL transgenic and gene targeted animals and their origin in your animal care and use protocols. If you have any questions regarding transgenic or gene-targeted animals, please contact the IACUC office () or the Biosafety Officer () for help.

Next Issue: Surprise!!


IACUC Coordinator / Research Compliance MonitorAlison D. Pohl, MS, MT, rLATgx4129

IACUC ChairJoseph Lorenzo, MDx8199

Attending Veterinarian, Director CCMRamaswamy M. Chidambaram, DVMx2731

Institutional OfficialLeonard Paplauskasx3173

Animal Facility SupervisorSara Fraize, rLATx4075

Biological Safety OfficerRonald G. Wallace, Ph.D., CIHx3781

IACUC Officex3429