Lab animals used in campus research; university secrecy keeps details hidden | Campus News

Related Articles

bloating porcupine

The bulbous porcupine is used in the laboratory category. (Amanda Uropza)

Squirrels that run around the campus are not the only animals that live in school yards. Cal State Fullerton is home to other creatures, such as Mice, rats, frogs and fish. mostly from tFar away in Dan Black Hall, in a house where animals used to be Research.

Dr. Paul Stapp, chair Institutional Animal Care and Use CommitteeAnd He said that animals used in teaching and research projects also include living vertebrates, such as mammals, and are used in biology and psychology courses.

The Animal Welfare Committee is the on-campus organization of animal health and welfare experts who oversee the use and housing of all laboratory animals at CSUF.

“Generally speaking, on our campus, which has relatively little animal research and teaching, we typically have fewer than a few dozen guinea pigs and frogs on campus at any given time, a few small captive animals that are used for public education and communication, and dozens of lab mice,” Stabb said.

Some of the studies are aimed at understanding the basic biology of organisms and animal behavior, Stabb said. He said researchers are using animals such as zebrafish, a type of minnow native to South Asia, as model organisms to investigate neural processes corresponding to behavior, studying human diseases and disorders and basic physiological processes.

“Other researchers are studying the behavior and population dynamics of wild fish and wildlife populations at field sites,” Stabb said.

Stabb said their activities related to dead animals are subject to very strict guidelines.

Research and teaching activities involving dead animals usually require being honestAnez, following very strict guidelines set by AVMA Species-specific and considered to be the most humane and fast,” Stabb said in an email.

AVMA is a file American Veterinary Medical Association.

He said the number of animals used varies by study. He added that the number of animals hosted by these crates varies as well, sometimes daily.

The Titan Daily requested public records from the university about the types used and their numbers.

On November 24, the Daily Titan requested public records from Anne Grogan, the public records request coordinator, who said she would be able to turn in the documents but would first redact some information.

Upon requesting sales and purchase records, the Daily Titan was informed that CSUF had conducted research and determined that there were no documents available.

However, three documents were brief Received December 7th. The annual report submitted to the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service of the Federal Department of Agriculture was one of the documents received.

13 lined up a squirrel

Thirteen squirrels lined up in the wild. (Fish Division and Wyoming Game)

It states that species in the CSUF that were covered by animal welfare rules include prairie prairie, which are small rodents; Northern grasshopper mouse. plains harvest mice; Kangaroo mouse ord pocket mouse hesped. Silky pocket rat, deer rat and 13 squirrel lined up. The exact number of animals is unknown because the numbers have been revised.

deer mouse

Deer mouse in the wild. (National Park Service)

Although some of the animals were used for public education and outreach, Stapp prevented reporters from touring the Dan Black Hall housing facility and eventually prevented the Daily Titan from accessing during the fall 2021 semester. It also rejected requests for permission to photograph animals on campus.

On November 4, Stabb said in an email to Daily Titan reporters that they would be given a tour if they obtained medical clearance from the Environmental Health and Safety Administration.

A medical permit consists of a questionnaire. Stubb said clearance would take about two weeks and that the tour would likely take place after the Thanksgiving holiday.

On November 16, journalists contacted Environmental Health and Safety for a progress report on disinfection. Frank Chavoya, an occupational safety and health specialist, said a survey would not be necessary if the itinerant reporter did not deal with animals.

“As long as he will not be handling any animals, he does not need to submit a medical questionnaire to the animal handler,” Chavoya said in an email to Stubb.

On the same day, reporters approached Stapp in the hope of obtaining a permit to tour, but were refused.

“The Director of Animal Welfare is responsible for the health of visitors to animal facilities and felt that visitors should undergo health screening for the safety of all. “I respect and agree with his judgment,” Stabb said in an email on November 16.

In the same email, Stapp said a new rule is in place that not only requires documentation, but requires a separate physical exam that cannot be completed at Fullerton and will not be paid for by Stapp’s division.

Journalists contacted Shavoya on December 6 by email to confirm this new requirement.

“Because Dr. Paul Stubb is the chair of the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee, we will default to his decision on this as best management safety practice,” Chavoya said.

Reporters were also denied permission to review a class that conducts animal studies.

It is also unknown the annual budget for the purchase of animals, the amount of money used to house the animals and the food budget.

Stubb said the committee does not keep the annual budget for animal welfare, nor is it responsible for the budget.

He said some of the animals are purchased from commercial sources overseen by the federal government. It is also bred by researchers.


Dead stingray is used to search in the classroom. (Amanda Uropza)

Biology and animal students

Amanda Oropza, a sixth-year biology student, described her experience working with live animals as frightening at first.

She said the Cal State Fullerton Lab was her first experience with live animals, and she had the help of an assistant teacher.

At the start of the lab, TA said, ‘Well, rule number one: Don’t wound / wound mice in any way. “We don’t want to end up with any animals dying,” Oropza said.

Oropeza said she likes the teachers to put a lot of emphasis on making sure students take care of the animals so they don’t get injured. She added that students are told that the safety of the animals is the priority, even if it affects the data of their experiments.

Her most recent experience was working with live mice. The mice observed, looking for signs of distress because they are particularly sensitive to light, noise, and movement. She described it as a good experience and said before that, she had wondered if working with live animals at CSUF was allowed.

Oropeza worked with mice and live fish, and also dissected dead crayfish, grasshoppers, termites, worms, and crickets.

Oropeza said working with live animals and getting real-world experience is something she enjoyed and feels her education at CSUF has been improved upon.

But despite her work with animals on campus, she says she doesn’t know where she lives.

“I’m not sure how to keep them. Oropeza said they don’t give us details of where they came from or the room they are in or anything like that.

Dan Black Hole

Entrance to Dan Black Hall at Cal State Fullerton. (Amber Juarez/The Daily Titan)


set up He said That there is more than one residential facility on campus, but the university did not say how many facilities there are.

Disclosure of information regarding the number and location of animal facilities poses an unnecessary threat to security and safety. We have several animal facilities on campus, and are located in departments with researchers/trainers who use animals. Animals are cared for daily and facilities are regularly checked by veterinarians and federal inspectors,” Stabb said.

TNor will the university reveal how the animals are housed, fed, cared for, or used.

According to the committee’s annual report to the Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare, the animals were moved from one facility to other facilities nearby. The exact location of these facilities is still unclear, because the information has been revised by the university.

The new campus animal facility is currently under construction and is expected to be completed as early as mid-2022. The report also notes that the animals will be moved to the new facility in consultation with the veterinarian and the Director of Animal Welfare.

How is the use of animals regulated

When conducting animal studies, theFaculty members must submit a detailed request to the committee stating what they want to do with the animal and why it is scientifically valid.

The committee reviews teaching and research projects involving vertebrates to ensure that the use of animals is humane, that the number of animals used is appropriate and that everyone involved has been properly trained.

“They should explain why vertebrate animals are needed (rather than a computer model or organisms lower on the phylogenetic scale), why they need as many animals as they need and demonstrate that their methods are well-planned, safe and humane,” Stabb said. .

Once their application is approved by the committee, researchers must submit an annual report on progress toward their project goals.

Stabb added that the commission must report on its compliance with federal and state regulations every year.

During the school year, John Chappelle, Director of Animal Welfare, and his staff are responsible for overseeing theand the animals. Staff are personally trained by Chappell and must complete laboratory safety training and health certifications.

Stubb said that while the campus was closed during the COVID-19 lockdown, there were relatively few animals on campus, but some continued to be housed and maintained at the campus animal facility.

“The Director of Animal Welfare and his staff have looked after the animals during the lockdown, as they do in normal times. On some projects, researchers and their students have also helped take care of their animals,” Stabb said.

According to a report submitted to the National Institutes of Health for 2019-21, the panel list includes Chappelle; Registered Veterinarian Dr. Scott Wilde; And four other names have been deleted by the university.

Of the four revised names, three are scholars with PhDs and one is classified as neither a scientist nor affiliated with the university. The document identifies non-scientists as members whose primary interests are in a non-scientific field such as ethicists, lawyers, or clerics.

university reaction

Daily Titan reporters reached out to Stubb in November, but their requests to see and photograph the animals were denied. Additionally, the Daily Titan’s reporters were unable to obtain any financial records regarding the lab animals.

Stabb berated the Daily Titan reporters for calling several university departments for additional information.

“Your group has attempted to access the animals through the IACUC office, the NSM Dean’s office, and through individual faculty members. If you or any member of your group requests additional information on matters relating to IACUC, direct it to me,” Stabb said in an email on December 7. , in my capacity as CSUF IACUC President, and do not disturb these offices or other individuals.”


More on this topic



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here


Popular stories