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Animal Care and Occupational Health

Updated 5/20/16

Training on Working with Research Animals

Everyone at the Center for Limnology who will be handling, sampling or studying live fish or other vertebrates as part of their work must complete training on working with research animals.* This includes all staff, students, LTEs, student hourlies, and volunteers. It also includes individuals from other institutions working with live vertebrates at the Center for Limnology. The steps to complete the training process are outlined below. There are five components to the training that must be completed: 1) animal care and use training (RARC web site), 2) occupational health training (Learn@UW), 3) occupational health enrollment (Occupational Health web site), 4) species-specific training (AALAS Learning Library), and 5) hands-on training (conducted by CFL staff). Reauthorization occurs every five years.

*If you will not be handling, sampling or studying live fish or other vertebrates as part of your work, you do not need to complete training.

EXCEPTIONS: If any of these apply, you do not need to take the training: 1) if you are a student who will have animal contact as part of an instructional activity AND will be working under the direct supervision of an individual who has completed training, or 2) if you are not affiliated with UW-Madison, such as a visiting scientist, AND will work under the direct supervision of an individual who has completed the training requirement AND intend to spend less than 30 days working with vertebrates. The policies on Animal Care and Use Authorization and Mandatory Training (1999-006) and Occupational Health Program Enrollment (2004-025) are in the attached documents below. The Occupational Health Requirements document below will help you determine if you need to enroll in the occupational health program or complete safety training. Please take a look at it.

Please contact Marilyn Larsen if you have any questions about whether or not you need to be certified. You can look up what training you've completed on RARC's web site. Click on My Profile to log in with your Net ID.

You must complete these steps before working with research animals:

STEP 1:  Complete the Animal User Orientation Course Online. Select Animal User Orientation from the Open-Access courses.

Please note: If you are a student at an institution other than the UW-Madison, you will first need to obtain a guest pass from RARC (Research Animal Resources Center). Send an email to wille@rarc.wisc.edu and put RARC GUEST PASS in the subject line. Once you receive your guest NetID (it takes a day or two), you may proceed with Step 1.

STEP 2:  Take the required Occupational Health class AND complete the Animal Contact Risk Questionnaire (ACRQ). The Occupational Health class is available online at Learn@UW. Log in with your UW net ID and click on SELF REGISTRATION and select the course, Safety for Personnel with Animal Contact.

After completing the Occupational Health class, complete the ACRQ by following these steps (you will need your Campus ID #):

1) Go to http://www.uhs.wisc.edu/occ-medicine/
2) Click on Create a MyUHS account at the bottom of the screen.
3) Click on Sign up for an account.
3) Enter your Campus ID # (from your UW ID card), DOB, Last Name and click on Continue.
4) At this point, you'll receive an email from UHS with your activation key. Keep the web page open and copy the activation key from the email.
5) Paste it into the box on the MyUHS Account Sign-Up page. Note your username.
6) Set up password (6+ characters, upper & lower case, 1+ digit, 1+ non-alphanumeric character) and challenge Q&A.
7) Click on Proceed and log in.
8) Click on “Messages” on the side of the page.
9) Next page click on “New Message” at the top of the page.
10) Next page select “I want to complete a questionnaire or send a message to the OCCUPATIONAL MEDICINE clinic”

STEP 3: Send an email to Marilyn Larsen (marilyn.larsen@wisc.edu) noting that you have completed Steps 1 and 2. In the email, indicate what research project you will be working on (Aquarium, Cascade, Barriers, LTER, Southeast Asia, Teaching). She will record your name in The Laboratory Training Notebook for your signature after completing the remaining steps. 

STEP 4: Review the Standard Operating Procedures and the protocol for your research. The SOP document is available below (scroll down to SOPs.pdf). The approved animal protocols are available in groups\Animal Care. If you're unable to access the protocol, send an email to Marilyn Larsen (marilyn.larsen@wisc.edu) and she will email it to you.

STEP 5: Enter your education and experience by following the instructions on RARC's Protocol Personnel Training and Experience Management in My Profile web page.

STEP 6: Complete the on-line species-specific training for the species with which you will be working. RARC will send you an email with instructions for accessing the AALAS (American Association for Laboratory Animal Science) Learning Library once you have been added to the protocol.

STEP 7: Complete hands-on species-specific training from your field crew leader for the species with which you will be working. Fill out the Fish Training Checklist that RARC will email to you (also available below) and email to Marilyn Larsen (marilyn.larsen@wisc.edu) or to trainer@rarc.wisc.edu (cc: Marilyn).

*STEP 8: Document that you have completed Steps 1 through 7 (and 9, if applicable) by signing The Laboratory Training Notebook. If you are at Trout Lake Station or UNDERC, see Pam Fashingbauer (fashingbauer@wisc.edu). If you are at the Hasler Lab in Madison, see Marilyn Larsen (marilyn.larsen@wisc.edu). The following pages need to be signed:
a) Protocol Documentation Page
b) Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) Documentation Page
c) Training Verification Page

STEP 9:  If you will be assisting with surgery (e.g. implanting transmitters), you must also take the Lab Animal Surgery class. RARC will email instructions to you if this is indicated on the protocol.

Additional links related to animal care

Frequently Asked Questions

How does animal care relate to the Scientific Collectors Permits?
You must carry a valid Scientific Collectors Permit with you when you collect fish from the wild. While everyone who handles vertebrates must be trained and listed on the appropriate animal care protocol, just one person in the field crew needs to be listed on the appropriate Scientific Collectors Permit. To be added to a Scientific Collectors Permit, and to obtain a copy, contact Marilyn Larsen (marilyn.larsen@wisc.edu).

When do I need an animal care protocol? 
Any time your course or research project involves sampling, observing, capturing, handling, etc., any vertebrate species (generally this means fish for us) on any part of the UW campus (including off campus facilities like Trout Lake Station) and/or is funded in part or whole by grants administered through the UW, you need an approved protocol. Check the UW RARC website at http://www.rarc.wisc.edu/ for more information.


If you are an employee or student of another institution and have an approved protocol from your institution for your research at Trout Lake Station or the Hasler Lab, the UW's L&S Animal Care and Use Committee has the option of reviewing the protocol, too. Please email the protocol and institution approval to Marilyn Larsen (marilyn.larsen@wisc.edu).

How can I find out if my project/course is already covered by an approved animal care protocol?
Check out the currently approved Animal Care Protocols in the 'groups' folder on the CFL server named "Animal Care" or or contact Marilyn Larsen.

How do I get started writing an animal care protocol?
All animal care protocols are now submitted online via ARROW. Only the PI is able to submit the protocol.

All new protocols, 3-year renewal protocols and amendments (except administrative amendments) must be pre-reviewed by a veterinarian. PIs should contact Dr. Lisa Krugner-Higby (265-5581; lisakh@rarc.wisc.edu) to discuss the protocol under development. The PI will submit the protocol for pre-review via ARROW.

How do I submit my animal care protocol to RARC once it is written?

Marilyn Larsen coordinates submission of all CFL animal care protocols. The PI should add her name as a protocol writer to the protocol in ARROW so she is able to access and edit it. See the ARROW Tips and FAQs for additional information about working in ARROW.

For comments or suggestions regarding this page, contact Marilyn Larsen.
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