1 - Introduction


The most common health problems encountered in an animal facility are usually not directly related to animals. They are injuries resulting from falling on slippery floors, lifting items improperly, burns from heated materials or steam, exposure to toxic substances, and cuts from needles, wires, knives or other sharp instruments.

Zoonoses (diseases of animals that may be transmitted to man) are infrequently documented in animal facilities and laboratories housing primarily rodents. However, some zoonotic diseases, especially those associated with wild-caught animals in field studies can be very serious and even fatal. Therefore persons working with animals should be familiar with zoonotic diseases in their particular species. Diseases can pass not only from an animal to a person, but from a person to an animal and from an animal to an animal by way of a person, especially if the person does not take reasonable precautions in proper hygiene. For these reasons, as well as ensuring compliance with the mandate of NIH’s Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals (Guide), the University of Mississippi requires persons having contact with laboratory animals to abide by the following guidelines.


All visitors are required to wear provided Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). Visitors will be advised of the risks posed by animal allergens before entering the vivarium.

*Visitors are persons who are not UM faculty, staff, or students and will have transient contact with animals or animal or human tissue. All others must complete the Occupational Health Evaluation form.

Employees, Investigators, Technicians, Students, and All Others Exposed to Laboratory Animals:

These persons are all required to complete the UM OHSP Risk Inventory and Occupational Health Evaluation forms.