AAALAC International Site Visit at Emory University

The AAALAC International site visit of the animal care and use program at Emory University will be conducted by a 4-person team of peers on March 3-5, 2020.  While much of the focus will be on DAR and IACUC, laboratories will be site visited, particularly those where surgery and other experimental procedures are done on animals or where animals are held.  It is important for personnel to be on hand to interact with the site visitors and not be absent.

AAALAC International was founded in 1966 as a private organization providing peer review of research programs using animal models.  Emory University has been continuously accredited by AAALAC dating to 1992.  The value of accreditation is in providing assurance both internally, to our scientists and the administration, as well as externally, to the public and funding sources, that Emory meets the highest standards of the care and research use of animals.

Here are tips to facilitate a successful site visit outcome for Emory:

  • Personnel are encouraged to review their IACUC approved protocols to ensure familiarity with the experiments and associated procedures such as any euthanasia method, aseptic surgery practices, and post-operative administration of pain-relieving drugs.
  • Post-operative and other records required by the IACUC should be available upon request for review by the site visitors.
  • The expiration dates of drugs, fluids, sutures and other consumable materials that may be used in association with animals should be routinely monitored whether kept in the lab or in the DAR facilities. Where IACUC has not granted a specific exemption, all expired items should be discarded or labeled as “not for use in animals.”
  • All items in the laboratory, such as fluids dispensed from their original container, should be clearly labeled as to contents and, where applicable, with an expiration date. As a general rule, fluids have a shelf-life of 28 days once punctured.
  • All controlled drugs, should be kept in a locked container meeting the requirements for controlled drug storage and supported by accurate records of usage.
  • Isoflurane gas anesthetic vaporizer maintenance and calibration must comply with IACUC policy – it does allow for calibration every 3 years, rather than annually, but there are testing requirements. To review this policy, go to the IACUC web site at, select the “Policies” tab and then choose “Gas Anesthesia Vaporizer Maintenance.”
  • If using CO2 inhalation for euthanasia, the system must include a flowmeter and have a posted SOP providing instruction in the use of the method and equipment.
  • Any food or treats for the animals that are kept in the laboratory should be stored in a closed container with a tight-fitting lid labeled with the contents and expiration date.
  • Know how to access Safety Data Sheets (SDS) for each chemical and drug used or kept in the lab via:
  • Please ensure that you have completed the occupational health questionnaire located at the IACUC web site at within the past 12 months. It is quick and easy.
  • Documentation of an injury or exposure, whether trivial or non-trivial, is done via the PeopleSoft system. Log onto the “PeopleSoft: HR” site using your Emory network ID and password, select the “Self Service” folder and then choose “Workplace Health” and proceed.
  • Areas where animals are used should be kept clean and uncluttered, such as for rodent surgery.
  • Animals should not be housed or kept in laboratories (or outside of the animal research facility) without the knowledge and permission of the IACUC.
  • If you need any training or refreshers please contact us online:

If you have any questions or would benefit from other assistance, please call 7-3248 and ask to speak with the DAR veterinarian responsible for your building or send an email to

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