Animal Surveillance

Animal Care Surveillance is designed to prevent unnecessary occupational hazards in the work environment and maintain a safe environment for personnel working with or around laboratory animals. This program has been developed in conjunction with the Office of Animal Welfare, and the Hospital's Occupational Health Clinic. The program involves annual animal heath reviews, vaccinations and TB surveillance per occupational exposure assessment. . 

Types of Hazards

  1. Development of Allergies - Development of allergies are the most common hazard for working with animals. Risk factors for developing allergies associated with animals are a family medical history of allergies, history of seasonal allergies, and smoking. Common symptoms include inflammation of the skin, nose, eyes, and rash. 
  2. Zoonotic Diseases - diseases transmitted from animal to man. Uncommon, but immunosupressed individuals are at a higher risk such as pregnant personnel. Types of disease are Tuberculosis, and Macacine Herpesvirus 1 (B Virus). 
  3. Animal Bites or Scratches - Bites from animals naturally carry bacteria in their mouth and can transmit infections. If bitten, follow appropriate first aid measures, inform your supervisor and contact the Occupational Health Clinic. 
  4. Ergonomic - Work-related musculoskeletal disorders can develop when working in awkward positions, awkward lifting, repetitive motions and high vibration activities.
  5. Noise - Noise hazards can be from cages, cage washes, waste management, and animals. 

Exposures can be minimized by:

  • Using appropriate handling techniques when manipulating animals, their tissues, and cages
  • Wearing protective clothing such as lab coats, tyvek suits, booties, hearing protection, safety glasses and gloves when handling animals
  • Proper Hygiene Practices, such as washing hands after handling animals and before leaving a laboratory area
  • Reducing exposure with engineering controls (exhaust systems, fume hoods, or biosafety cabinets)
  • Wearing an N-95 and respiratory evaluation
  • Limiting exposure time with animals to reduce allergy risks, and limit exposure time to loud noises. 

If you are an animal worker and need to complete your Annual Animal Health Review contact us at

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