POLICY ON QUARANTINE AND STABILIZATION OF ANIMALS
Comparative Medicine has established the following guidelines for the quarantine and stabilization of all animals received and maintained by the UNMC.
Quarantine: The separation of newly received animals from those already within the facility until the health and possibly the microbial status of the newly received animals have been established (The Guide, pages 110-111).
Stabilization: The period required to house newly received animals with minimal or no experimental intervention until they are acclimated to the new environment, resulting in a more stable physiological and behavioral state.
An effective quarantine minimizes the chance for introduction of pathogens into an established colony. Information from the source on animal quality should be sufficient to enable the Attending Veterinarian to determine the length of quarantine, to define the potential risks to personnel and animals within the colony, and to determine whether therapy is required before animals are released from quarantine. Rodents might not require quarantine if data from the source are sufficiently current and complete to define the health status of the incoming animals and if the potential for exposure to pathogens during transit is considered.
However, all newly received animals at UNMC should be given a period for physiologic, psychologic, and nutritional stabilization before their use. Such a period allows the animal to recover from shipping stress, adapt to its new surroundings, and become physiologically stable. Adequate acclimation times may vary depending on the animal species, source, type and duration of transportation, and the intended use of the animals.
For rodents, the recommended stabilization period is 48-72 hours (3 days), minimum, prior to use in non-acute procedures.
For all large animals (including rabbits) undergoing non-acute procedures, the recommended stabilization period is 5 days, minimum.
All newly arrived animals that will be used in teaching, research, or testing at UNMC should be provided the minimum stabilization acclimation periods described in these guidelines.
Failure to allow animals to acclimatize could adversely affect animal health and research data.