from: The Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals (2011)

“Continuing IACUC oversight of animal activities is required by federal laws, regulations, and policies…..PAM helps ensure the well-being of the animals and may also provide opportunities to refine research procedures. Methods include continuing protocol review; laboratory inspections (conducted either during regular facilities inspections or separately); veterinary or IACUC observation of selected procedures; observation of animals by animal care, veterinary, and IACUC staff and members; and external regulatory inspections and assess ments. The IACUC, veterinary, animal care, and compliance staff may all conduct PAM, which may also serve as an educational tool.”

The purpose of the PAM program is to monitor the procedures, experiments, husbandry and general daily activities of approved protocols and SOPs in order to identify excellence in animal use activities, provide education, help ensure compliance and prevent experimental drift. Some benefits of PAM include:

  • Ensuring the best quality research by ensuring optimum care and use of research animals with minimal pain and distress
  • Providing resources to the Research Community.
  • Identifying training needs of campus faculty and students with regards to research animals
  • Initiating better communication between the UMD Research Community and the IACUC
  • Helping prepare facilities for future inspections.

How are labs selected for a PAM visit?

Laboratories are more likely to be selected for PAM visits based on the following criteria:

  • USDA pain categories D and E
  • Survival surgery
  • USDA regulated species
  • Food/water restriction and long term restraint
  • Experimentally caused morbidity/mortality
  • Protocols with exceptions to the Guide
  • Labs/Facilities with previous compliance issues
  • At the request of the IACUC
  • Request from animal facility
Other labs/facilities that do not meet the above criteria may be selected at random for audit.

How do I prepare for a PAM visit?

As is the case in general, all laboratory personnel working on animal research should have knowledge of the protocol and SOPs associated with the protocol. They should be trained appropriately to carry out procedures as described. Any animal housing should be maintained and documented in a manner consistent with The Guide (or The Ag Guide, if appropriate). Beyond your usual high standards of care and research practice, no additional preparation is necessary. We hope you view a visit from our PAM coordinator as a way in which the IACUC can support your research by providing a fresh eye for observing your procedures and providing helpful feedback for optimizing your research.