Animal Research

Please direct all questions to DLARCOVID19@duke.edu. This page will be updated regularly as new information is received.

Related FAQs

DLAR & DLC Animal Care and Research Curtailment

How will animals receive care under the current restricted research conditions?

The Duke Animal Program has a specified pandemic response as part of our overall business continuity and disaster plan. Our husbandry and veterinary staff of the Division of Laboratory Animal Resources (DLAR) and the Duke Lemur Center (DLC) are considered essential employees and animal care will occur daily during any university decision to limit individuals being on campus. We have worked with our vendors to ensure a sufficient inventory of supplies during the current restricted research environment.

With the curtailment of research, will researchers be able to access their animals?

Although we want to limit access as much as possible, the DLAR will work with each lab on a case-by-case basis during the research shutdown. A survey has been distributed to all Principal Investigators holding an Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) protocol to identify a primary and backup staff member who will need access to their animals during the research curtailment, along with additional information.  Please click here to access the survey

Can I initiate new experiments with animals?

By default of the research curtailment directive, no new studies in animals are permitted without justification and approval. Essential experiments will be defined as those that if discontinued would generate significant financial and data loss. A process is being designed to review any justification and will be communicated shortly.

I wish to maintain my breeding colonies.  Should I curtail the number of animals/cages down to the minimum number to maintain each line/strain? 

By virtue of the research curtailment directive, breeding of animals are permitted for experiments are defined as essential and approved through the process being developed, or to maintain a breeding line.  Options to cryopreserve mouse lines are available and the DLAR may be contacted for consultation and assistance. Genotyping services by Transnetyx® will still be available for offspring. 

What are the hours that I can speak to someone concerning the care or use of my animals? 

The DLAR operational hours for animal care during the research curtailment are from 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM (Monday-Friday) or until daily animal care needs are met. For administrative and non-emergency questions, email DLARcovid19@duke.edu. We will be happy to work with you by email, phone, or arrange an in-person appointment. An additional avenue for communication is your usual DLAR contact. For animal emergencies, please call the veterinary emergency pager (919-970-9410) at any time (24/7).

IACUC and OAWA

Am I still required to submit all of my IACUC documents during the COVID-19 response? Will the IACUC still be reviewing and approving documents?

Yes. We plan to utilize all flexibilities afforded by the regulations and guidelines that govern animal use in research teaching and testing. Some will be implemented as part of our pandemic response plan and some can be granted upon request. However, we still need to ensure that we maintain those processes that are essential in meeting our regulatory obligations. If you have a critical need or will be delayed in an IACUC action due to the COVID-19 response please let us know and we will explore if there is an alternative available.

Is the IACUC still requiring completion of IACUC required training and occupational health items during the COVID-19 response?

All of the required IACUC training for protocol personnel can be performed remotely. We will still require completion of this training if OAWA processes require a validation (e.g., new protocol, personnel amendment, etc.); however, we are offering a waver to the annual PPD requirement if we receive verification that you will not come in contact with a non-human primate prior to completing the PPD requirement.

Is the IACUC still conducting Semiannual IACUC Inspections?

All pending semiannual animal facility inspections have been temporarily suspended in response to the Duke directive to cease all non-essential in-person meetings and on-campus activities. We are awaiting regulatory guidance on this regulatory requirement and will act based on their direction. If a facility inspection has already been performed in your animal use location, you may receive communications related to the findings. If a response or action is required and you cannot perform the activity due to the COVID-19 response please let us know. This includes delaying correction of deficiencies because you cannot go on-site. In other words, do not go on-site to correct a facility inspection deficiency unless it is essential to the animals’ well-being.

Is the OAWA still performing postapproval monitoring and controlled substance audits?

On-site postapproval monitoring and controlled substance audits have been temporarily suspended in response to the Duke directive to cease all non-essential meetings and on-campus activities. We may explore other, non-in-person alternatives to this oversight processes; however, if we contact you and you cannot participate please let us know.

Is IACUC approval required for animal activities that are directly related to the research wind-down and COVID-19 response?

If you have been provided guidance from a clinical veterinarian about an animal procedure that may differ from your IACUC approved protocol, you can follow the guidance without IACUC approval. This is part of established veterinary consultation and authority practices. Please ensure that the guidance came from a clinical veterinarian and/or a designee of the attending veterinarian. If it was not a directive of a clinical veterinarian, then IACUC approval is required.

Who will care for my animals? What if my animals are not in DLAR?

We have received questions related to animal care and management. This includes information on breeding management, euthanasia, and cryopreservation. For information on the impact of COVID-19 on your approved animal research and/or animal care please reference: