Animal Contact Program

The University of Florida Animal Contact Medical Monitoring Program is designed to protect our employees, students, affiliates, and volunteers from exposure to conditions that may result in animal related illnesses.

Program requirements are based upon those outlined in the Public Health Services document, Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals and the National Research Council’s Occupational Health and Safety in the Care and Use of Research Animals, as well as the recommendations of the Association for Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care (AAALAC)The Division of Environmental Health and Safety (EH&S) and the Institutional Animal Use and Care Committee (IACUC) jointly oversee the Animal Contact Program. The Occupational Medicine Clinic at the Student Health Care Center is the medical provider for the program and maintains the medical records.

  • The Animal Contact Program includes a medical monitoring and an educational component for individuals with animal contact, those that:

• Handle or work with live animals, or

• Handle unfixed animal tissues or body fluids, including animal waste, or

• Are listed on an Institutional Animal Care and Use (IACUC) protocol, or

• Access Animal Care Services (ACS) managed facilities or vivaria  

  • Individuals that do not meet the criteria above, but who may have incidental or infrequent exposure due to their work near animals or observing animals in the field are not required to participate in the program. They should however:

• Read the Animal Contact Program Handbook, and

• Be advised that some persons are at increased risk from animal-associated disease:

º Women who are pregnant or planning to become pregnant

º Immune compromised persons

º Individuals with known animal allergies

• Contact the Occupational Medicine Clinic, 352-294-5700, for additional information

  • Visitors entering ACS managed facilities or vivaria to perform maintenance/repairs or observe research are not required to participate in the Animal Contact Program provided all the following are met:

• Visits are 5 times or less within a 30 day period

• The Request for Visitors to Observe Animal Research and ACS Director’s Instructions Regarding Associated Health Risks forms are signed and approved; contact ACS at 352-273-9230

• Visitors are escorted at all times and wear their issued visitor badge

• Additional requirements apply for specialized areas:

º Animal Biosafety Level 3 (ABSL3) areas (BioPath Medical Monitoring Program)

º Non-human primate facilities (Tuberculosis monitoring)

º Biomedical research and housing areas for sheep (Respiratory protection)

  • The UF IACUC verifies that all personnel listed on new and continuing animal use protocols are included in the Animal Contact Program. It is the responsibility of the Principal Investigator to ensure that all individuals listed on their IACUC protocol or working under their supervision participate in the program, including employees, students, colleagues, collaborators, and volunteers.
  • The Animal Contact Program Handbook  is required reading for program participants and provides additional information as well as educational information on occupational health risks associated with animal contact, primarily animal allergies and zoonotic diseases. Program participants shall be familiar with this information.

Animal Contact Medical Monitoring Program

  • Medical monitoring is based on the type and frequency of exposure to animals and consists of a risk assessment, follow-up assessments, and tests/immunizations as needed. All program participants must be cleared prior to initiating animal contact.
  • To enroll or renew participation in the program and obtain a medical clearance, complete the Risk Assessment for Animal Contact form.

• Occupational Medicine providers will determine if further clinical interaction or added precautions are needed to protect your health.

• Participants must renew their risk assessment at least every three years to maintain a clearance for animal contact.

• A renewal is also needed when there are changes in work assignment(i.e., change in species, contact levels) or changes in personal health status (development of a chronic illness or condition, immune suppression, pregnancy, development of animal or environmental allergies).

  • Completed Risk Assessment forms can be submitted electronically via e-mail.  E-mail recipient will depend on the Type of Animal Contact selected. 
    Please read form instructions carefully prior to submission. Incomplete or incorrect forms may delay processing. A supervisor signature is always required except for Department Chairs or Deans.
  • Track your clearance status online in myUFL>My Self Service>My Personal Information>UF Health Assessment


Specific medical requirements

  • Tetanus Immunization within 10 years – All participants
  • Rabies Immunization Series/Booster or Positive Titer within 2 years – All individuals handling wild/feral/free-roaming, or unvaccinated carnivores
  • Respirator Clearance and Fit Test – All individuals required by UF’s Q-Fever Policy or as medically necessary to prevent allergic reactions
  • Q-fever (Coxiella burnetii) serum titer – all who are required by UF’s Q-Fever Policy
  • Tuberculosis Screening within 12 months – All individuals with non-human primate, elephant, or rhino contact
  • Medical consultation – As determined by the Occupational Medicine provider. Examples are individuals with chronic disease, work-related injuries or illness, environmental or animal allergies.
  • For Occupational Medicine Clinic questions or to schedule an appointment, call 352-294-5700