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Animal Research - COVID-19 Notices

COVID-19 Update Memo to Animal Research Community

June 5, 2020

Dear Animal Research Community:

We want to thank each of you for the actions you have taken over the past months to help reduce the spread of COVID-19. Maintaining research operations during this time has presented a number of difficulties and you have risen to the challenges presented. The health, safety, and well-being of our community must continue to be at the forefront of our decisions – including the animals in our care – as we now work to return to research operations.

Today, we are sharing important updates that address research projects involving animals. These updates reflect safety enhancement efforts that have taken place over the past month within more than 100 Purdue (and Purdue-leased) buildings and spaces where research takes place, on and off the West Lafayette campus. These safety enhancements included assessments of public spaces within each building (including lobbies, restrooms, conference rooms, lounge areas, etc.). Following each assessment, COVID-19 safety enhancements have been widely implemented, with any remaining public space safety enhancements expected to be completed shorty.

We have now begun the process of reviewing and approving COVID-19 Research Space Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) for each specific space where research takes place within these buildings. The review and approval process will be completed in a gradual manner, spanning the month of June. More information on this process can be found here.

Consistent with our phased return to research operations, animal researchers are advised of the following updates:

  • Orders to acquire new animals from vendors, which have been suspended since March 16 for all but critical research, can be placed beginning on June 15, 2020.
  • There are no longer curtailments on the breeding of species/strains that are commercially available from major vendors.
  • New experiments and activities that are not time-sensitive and of longer duration may now proceed, but we request that you continue to minimize the number of compromised animals that would require attention and care if research again must be reduced to essential operations on short notice.

At this point, we assume that all animal researchers have done the following in light of the COVID-19 pandemic:

  • You have developed and are maintaining a Continuity of Operations Plan (COOP) that can be fully actionable on short notice (template can be found here).
  • You have Identified key individuals in your group who can manage essential procedures for approved active protocols, and provide daily animal husbandry if CMAF lacks adequate staffing to do so.
  • You have identified animals on your protocols that are the most critical to save in the highly unlikely event that an emergency reduction in population is necessary.

We appreciate your continued efforts to advance the university's research mission while also bearing in mind the critical responsibility we all have to continue to help keep Purdue safe. Please direct any questions regarding animal care to Bill Ferner ( and regarding animal use to Janice Kritchevsky (


Christopher R. Agnew
Associate Vice President for Research, Regulatory Affairs

Janice E. Kritchevsky
Chair, Purdue Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC)

William T. Ferner
Director, Purdue Laboratory Animal Program (LAP)

Guidance from Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC): Update June 5, 2020

  • Essential Personnel. The personnel that care for the animals at Purdue are classified as essential personnel and will be here even if other segments of the University are closed. CMAF will provide continued daily care of all animals. This includes continued veterinary medical care, assessment of animal health and wellbeing, provision of food, water and clean cages, and maintenance of appropriate environmental conditions. As we may be working with a decreased work force, the LAP may not be able to provide other services. Contact Assistant Director, Sylvia Schlegel (, with any questions.

  • Social distancing must be observed in the animal facility and/or laboratory setting. Large complex procedures that require multiple people to conduct should be postponed if possible.

  • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) use was addressed in a past memo to animal researchers. We will try to reuse and otherwise minimize the use of PPE materials when possible so that we don't run out. DO NOT remove PPE from animal areas. This has a negative impact on everyone and the animals under our care.

  • Contact LAP veterinarians. You can contact LAP personnel including the veterinary team the same way you always have. Non-emergency questions can be directed to The veterinarian on call can be contacted directly for emergencies. A contact list of the veterinarian on call is available at all animal facilities, contact your facility manager with any questions.

  • Purdue Animal Care and Use Committee business will be conducted electronically. We will continue to review submissions, new protocols, amendments, annual, and triennial reviews. Please contact the IACUC Administrator, Lisa Snider (, or Dr. Kritchevsky, IACUC chair (, if you have any questions.

  • Animals as vectors. There is no evidence that the animals used for research on Purdue's campus can transmit the virus or are susceptible to the virus. Pets and other domestic animals are not considered at risk for contracting or spreading COVID-19.

  • Animals at ASREC and other remote sites. Currently the farms are operating as usual. Plans are being put in place to ensure the highest level of animal care in the event of a reduced workforce.

More information about COVID-19 and animals can be found on the AVMA website:

Guidance from Centrally Managed Animal Facilities (CMAF)

The following information is provided by Purdue University Centrally Managed Animal Facilities (CMAF) staff to assist Purdue animal researchers:

  • The CMAF staff have been stocking up on essential supplies in order to make certain that supply line disruptions do not impact our ability to care for animals in the facilities. Some supplies – such as surgical masks (used for immune deficient animals) and N95 respirators (for allergen control in open top rooms and for use with different hazards) - are in short supply. We have requested that all staff re-use their respirators for 7 days and may extend this if supplies drop low. We will continue to assess the situation and make modifications as needed. Guidance on respirator reuse will be available from CMAF or Radiological and Environmental Management staff. (Contact Eric Butt

  • We ask that you assess your colonies and confirm all animals are necessary for your research.

  • We are requesting some procedural exemptions from the IACUC to shift some cleaning processes to give us more time to do essential cleaning (e.g., daily pen cleaning) and delay less essential cleaning (e.g., wire bar lid cleaning).

  • We will monitor staffing impacts and make adjustments as needed to ensure essential care. We may work longer days so you may receive calls about your animals later in the day than normal.

  • Depending on impact, we may suspend animal movements and investigative staff may need to move their own animals. Please make certain you understand movement requirements, such as securing cages, and speak to the Facility Manager before moving anything. Forms will still need to be submitted for space approval and tracking of cages.

  • Please put a plan in place for maintaining your breeding colonies. Please DO NOT assume you can rely on the animal care staff. If we are staffed where we can help, we will but if we are impacted significantly, we will need to focus on direct animal care.

  • If your animals have special diets, please verify you have stocked up on needed foods.

  • Please verify your phone lists are up to date with the managers for the facilities. Please also confirm your people have the cell numbers for our staff. Also, please confirm you are using the NEW EMAIL ADDRESSES for the facilities so we can respond to all your questions or concerns:

LAP Veterinary Staff:
CMAF Management:
Bindley Animal Care Staff:
MJIS Animal Care Staff:
LSA Animal Care Staff:
Hansen Animal Care Staff:
Vet Med Animal Care Staff:

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