The guidlines used for inspections (AAALAC and others) for fish need to be
updated to reflect items that are more relevant to fish health than
cyanobacteria buildup (above a certain level of which constitutes a
"serious" offense according to our IACUC), rust on metal items in the
facility, whether or not cardboard boxes are in contact with the floor, the
amount of dust on air vents, etc.
To me, these things all seem to be much more relevant to rodent and other
mammalian animal housing and care, and don't mean much, if anything for the
health of zebrafish.
Inspectors should be looking at diet composition, feeding practices,
storage, water chemistry, quarantine procedures, etc., etc.
They should also be looking at the fish. I've yet to be part of an animal
inspection (at various levels and at a number of institutions) where
inspectors actually look at the fish. This is incredible, and I keep
waiting, but it never happens.
I can walk through any one of a number of facilities that I know of and see
a number of problems that could be real problems for fish health, and yet
these very same facilities will pass inspection with flying colors if the
tanks and floors are cleaned the day before the inspections are conducted.
The problem remains, the inspectors don't see it and it doesn't get
corrected. But the tanks are clean. Then the whole cycle repeats itself
until the next inspection.
This doesn't make any sense, but this is the way that it is - everywhere.
And yet we all (both the users and the animal health personnel) still do the
dance and no one is any worse for wear. But what about the fish? And what
about time wasted by all parties involved?
This is a problem that in my opinion needs fixing. The guidelines and
inspections set forth by AAALAC and other accrediting bodies and
governmental agencies should mean as much to fish health as they do to that
of mice and rodents.
NOTE: Please understand that I am not trying to insult anyone here. I will
also freely admit that I know less than I should about the regulations and
how they are conceived and implemented (perhaps a reflection of the gap
between fish and mainstream animal use). I simply think that system is not
functioning properly, and needs to be corrected to more accurately reflect
the growing use of fish in biomedical research.
On 10/6/06, Burdine, Rebecca D <[Only registered users see links. ]> wrote: