The Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals (the Guide, NRC 2011) states:

  • "While contingency plans normally address natural disasters, they should also take into account the threats that criminal activities such as personnel harassment and assault, facility trespassing, arson, and vandalism pose to laboratory animals, research personnel, equipment and facilities, and biomedical research at the institution. Preventive measures should be considered, including pre-employment screening and physical and information technology security." (p. 23)
  • "Most animals maintained for research are vulnerable to infection with adventitious agents and therefore access to them should be strictly controlled and made available only to personnel who have received appropriate training and have a legitimate need for access." (p. 151)
  • "Animals used in studies with hazardous materials require special precautions for personnel before access, and staff entering the animal facility should have completed the institution's occupational health and safety training." (p. 151)
  • "When possible, the animal facility should be located within another structure with its own independent set of security features." (p. 151)


IACUC Policy and Guidelines

Wayne State University and its Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee are committed to providing safe research animal holding facilities where research faculty, staff, students, property, and animals are free from threats, assaults, and acts of violence. This policy establishes guidelines for keeping the WSU campus safe in and around the animal holding facilities.

Only those persons assigned to an IACUC Protocol or employed by the Division of Laboratory Animal Resources (DLAR), FP&M, or the Research Compliance office will be allowed unescorted into an animal facility. All others, including students and visitors, must be escorted by authorized personnel. Safety and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) guidelines must be followed.

Access control will be established by the IACUC and implemented by DLAR. Animal facilities will be locked when animals are present, the only exception is for brief periods when personnel are present and unlocked or open doors are needed to facilitate tasks being performed.

Key card access systems are the standard access control system for the outer doors to a building, facility, and/or main hallways of an animal facility.

All personnel should be aware of their surroundings and the people working in the vivarium areas. Unfamiliar people not displaying identification should be challenged or reported to the facility DLAR Leader or WSU Police if the observer feels them to be suspicious or potentially a threat (do not challenge people if you feel it is unsafe to do so, call the police). Persons entering a facility should not allow others to "piggy back" into an animal housing area or other secure area (piggy backing is letting someone in who has not swiped their card or displayed some credentials authorizing them access to the area). Sharing of access cards or allowing an unauthorized person to use an ID badge or key that does not belong to him/her is prohibited. All personnel are responsible for locking doors they unlock, closing gates they open, and ensuring the facility is secure when they leave.

Some facilities have an alarm system wired to the WSU Police Department (P.D.). The system is activated by key pad. During regular working hours, the alarm systems will be left unarmed. The keypad alarm is deactivated by the first DLAR member to arrive and activated as the last DLAR member exits the facility for the day. If a secured door is opened while the alarm system is active, WSU P.D. will dispatch a police officer to investigate. If a secured door is accidentally opened prior to deactivating the system, the responsible party should call the WSU P.D. at 577-2224 (non-emergency line) to inform them of the accidental breach and location.

No one may photograph, or make a video recording of any person, object or space in an animal holding facility unless such proposed photograph or recording is first approved in writing by the Attending Veterinarian (Director of DLAR). Requests should be submitted to the IACUC at In the case of an animal housed in an animal holding facility, a photograph or video recording of the animal may be made only if approved by the IACUC in a protocol or amendment.


Building Access Procedures

Personnel must be verified by the Division of Laboratory Animal Resources (DLAR) to be an authorized "animals user" before issuance of keys or activation of ID badges.


Approved: December 2012

Revision Approved: 5/2014, 12/2015, 2/2019