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Purdue University Executive Memoranda Master Listing

(Supersedes Executive Memorandum No. B-62, Dated 14 December 1979)

August 24, 1981
To: Deans, Directors, and Heads of Schools, Divisions, Departments, and Offices, and Regional Campus Chancellors

Re: Occupational Health for Animal Care Personnel


For purposes of this memorandum "animal care personnel" is defined to include all full-time, part-time, and temporary faculty, administrative, professional, clerical, service, and students in employment status.


In recognition of the recommendations of the Committee on Care and Use of Laboratory Animals, Institute of Laboratory Animal Care Resources/ National Research Council, as expressed in U.S. DHEW Publication No. (NIH) 78-23, Purdue University establishes the following institutional policy for occupational health programs for animal care personnel.

"An occupational health program is mandatory for personnel working in laboratory animal facilities and for other personnel with substantial animal contact. The program should include preplacement physical examinations, and, for personnel in some specific job categories, periodic physical examinations are advisable. Specific occupational hazards, both real and potential, should be recognized and prevented. An immunization schedule appropriate to the animal care program should be developed. For example, those handling carnivores, bats, or other species with substantial risk of carrying rabies should be afforded opportunity for protection by pre-exposure immunization. It is important to immunize animal care personnel against tetanus.

"Zoonosis surveillance should be an essential part of the occupational health program. An adequate surveillance program should include permanent records of individual work assignments. Records concerning bite wounds and unusual illnesses should be retained by the institution. Personnel should be instructed to notify their supervisors of suspected health hazards. Consideration should be given to obtaining and storing individual preplacement and postemployment serum samples for future diagnostic purposes.

"Primate diseases that are transmissible to man can be a serious hazard to personnel. Personnel (including animal technicians, investigators, students, research technicians, maintenance workers, and guards) who have contact with nonhuman primates should undergo regularly scheduled examinations for tuberculosis. Protective clothing -- such as gowns, gloves, masks, and face shields -should be available for use in handling primates."

The overall responsibility for implementing and carrying out this policy rests with the Vice President for Research and Dean of the Graduate School.

Specific policies and procedures to implement this policy shall be developed by each school, division, or department, as appropriate. Statements of such policies and procedures must be approved by the Purdue University Animal Care Committee and filed with the Purdue University Student Hospital and Department of Personnel Services.


  1. Department heads requesting services from the Purdue University Student Hospital should follow the procedures outlined in the Business Procedure Manual. It is recommended that the employing department identify by stating on Purdue University Student Hospital Form 22 "For Animal Care Personnel", and further indicate if there is a specific problem involved.

  2. Costs associated with the occupational health program will be borne by the employing department.


  1. Technical questions concerning this policy and procedures should be directed to the convener of the University Animal Care Committee.

  2. Nontechnical questions should be directed to the Assistant Director for Employment, Department of Personnel Services.

  3. Specific technical or procedural questions should be submitted (in writing) to the Purdue University Animal Care Committee.

Arthur G. Hansen