As of the 12th of June technicians in APCF will be using our new Special Observation (red) cards and Request Protocol Assistance (yellow) cards for communication between users and APCF staff.

This change was mentioned in an earlier post: Why Is There A Red Card On My Cage?

What this means staff will no longer be using post-it notes or other pieces of paper or older styled cards to notify users of problems with their animal models.

The Special Observation (red) cards will be placed on the card holder of the cage with the issue/s requiring the user’s attention and remain on the cage until the user rectifies the issue/s. At the same time the user will be notified electronically in the first instance and by phone in the second instance of the issue requiring rectification. The user must acknowledge the rectification of the issue/s by noting his/her actions on the red card. The red card will then be removed by the APCF technician. Only the APCF technician can remove the card and these cards will then be filed in our animal health records system in preparation for AAALAC review. The user must not remove the card from the cage.

The Request Protocol Assistance (yellow) card is for the use of the user to notify APCF staff of any special request such as euthanizing the cage of animals, not topping up the water because the animal models are on special medication or not topping up diet because animal models are on special dietary regimens. It is mandatory to fill in the procedure notification section if an experimental procedure was performed that is likely to have an adverse effect, such as surgery, pharmaceutical studies or other invasive procedures. This informs the APCF staff to observe animal after experimental treatment and to report adverse findings promptly. The yellow cards will also be used by APCF staff to inform the user of APCF’s own requirements such as needing cull animals for in-house health checks. Post-it notes and scraps of paper will not be an acceptable form of communication between users and APCF staff. APCF staff will note their actions on the card to inform the user of compliance with the request.

Finally if a yellow card is placed requesting diet or water restrictions by APCF staff, and APCF staff note no water or absence of diet, a red card will be placed on the same cage and the user will be notified electronically that their cage is not in compliance with our animal care and use programme.