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The Numbers

If air at the cage level is bad for research, why is it that conservative estimates put the number of rodents housed within Allentown IVCs over the past 20 years at 12,000,000 - with at least 6,000,000 pups delivered and weaned? The answer is simple; the truth is that Allentown IVC units with ACL work! Don't be bullied into thinking otherwise!


Allentown is not alone. Add to this equation another leading IVC supplier that uses ACL, and that brings the total to at least 24,000,000 animals in 50,000 IVCs over the past 20 years. And air at the cage level is bad for research?? Huh??

The List

Why is it that year after year, the world's most prestigious research programs use Allentown IVC units for their critical research? It's simple...because Allentown IVCs work. They provide exceptional environments for animals and lab personnel alike, are well built, fairly priced, and are backed by the best customer service in the industry. Don't be bullied into thinking otherwise!

Harvard University Pfizer National Institutes of Health Johns Hopkins University Novartis Rutgers University - Biomedical & Health Sciences The Salk Institute Bristol Myers Squibb Massachusetts Institute of Technology Charles River St. Jude Children's Research Hospital Scripps Research Institute Imperial College London Yale University University of Pennsylvania Glaxo Smith Kline Sanofi-Aventis Johnson & Johnson Amgen National University of Singapore Montreal Neurological Columbia University Allen Institute for Brain Science Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center Pierre and Marie Curie University University College London Inserm University of Leicester Purdue University Queen Mary University of London Genople University of York University of Aachen Mayo Foundation West Virginia University Shriners Hospital for Children University of Oklahoma Virginia Commonwealth University Royal Free Hospital London University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center Linkoping University MHH Hannover Medical School Memphis Bioworks Foundation University of Texas South West Medical Center Northwestern University Department of Veteran Affairs State University of New York Syracuse Alexion Pharmaceuticals Rowan University Instituto Oncologico Veneto Instituto de Medicina Molecular Universite Versailles Saint Quentin University of Connecticut King Saud University University of Delaware Biomeasure Incorporated University of Toronto Takada Cambridge Limited University of Ulster College of Science and Engineering Christopher Newport University University of Texas Dallas Cardiff University University of Connecticut Health Center University of Nebraska Medical College of Wisconsin University of Pittsburgh University of Florida Wake Forest University Skanska North Shore Health System Case Western University University of Illinois MISPRO Biotech Services Massachusetts General Hospital Alnylam Children's Memorial Hospital Childrens Hospital of Pennsylvania Royal Ottowa Healthcare Group University of Washington Carleton University TransBIOtech University of California San Diego University of Prince Edward Island Washing State University McGill University Scott & White Hospital The Wistar Institute University of Tennessee University of Miami Mount Sinai Medical Center Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center Virginia Tech University Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine Hoffman LaRoche St. Lousi University University of Minnesota Morehouse Schopol of Medicine Institut Pasteur Food and Drug Administration Cornell University St. Boniface Hospital University of Western Ontario VMAS San Antonio Albany Medical Center University of Alberta Reiken Institute Dana Farber Cancer Institute University of Chicago Abbott Labs Trudeau Institute Virginia Polytechnic Institute Schering Pharmaceutical University Utrecht City of Hope Genentech Howard Hughes Medical Institute Montreal University Hospital Penn State University Hokkaido University Linkoping Sweden Sigma Aldrich St Michael's Hospital Toronto Medical College of Georgia Nathan Kline Institute Sunnybrook and Women's Hospital Cedars Sinai Medical center Venenum Biodesign Lousianna State University Daihousie University Thomas Jefferson University IBPC Bucuresti Georgia Health Schiences University VA Medical center Rockefeller University Loma Linda University Children's Hospital at Columbus Exelixis Tulane University

The Proof

Science is on our side: ACL works with the laws of nature; PLUS countless scientific papers and testimonials praise Allentown IVCs for providing excellent living and breeding environments for research animals. Research papers from as far back as 20 years ago, to as recently as this past year, all prove that Allentown's ACL method is safe for animals and researchers alike.

Competitors of ours, and some European researchers, devised what they thought was a fair test (TIZ-BIFO) to evaluate the performance of IVCs. We took that protocol and our IVCs to the world's preeminent testing organization and passed the test... three separate times! This test analyzed air velocity... (some bullies claim we have high air velocity)... noise, vibration, in leakage, etc. etc. etc. PASS, PASS, PASS! But somehow bullies are telling you our systems are not good for your animals?? Huh?? Three separate times we passed the protocol that they helped write!!!???

An expert Working Group was set up in December 2000 in Germany to develop recommendations for users and industry on the evaluation of proper function and operation of individually ventilated cage (IVC) systems. The group was comprised of IVC housing vendors and engineers:

M. Scheer (Co-chair), TECNIPLAST Deutschland GmbH
A. Brunink, PLEXX, PW-Elst, The Netherlands
J. Camphuis, UNO ROESTVASTAAL BV, AA Zevenaar, The Netherlands
M. Jung, PLEXX-EMSICON JUNG GMBH, Forstinning, Germany
P. Leonhardt, SCANBUR AS, Koge, Denmark
J. MacArthur Clark, BioZone Ltd, European Head Office, Margate, UK
P. Oehlert, EHRET GmbH & Co. KG, Emmendingen, Germany

Air velocity was one of many testing criteria developed, and the specification was recommended "not to exceed .2m/s (human standard for feeling a draft) at every measuring point in the cage."

Allentown took the TIZ-BIFO Protocol to TUV, the preeminent testing organization in Europe and arguably across the globe. Testing to the TIZ-BIFO standards, Allentown passed three separate times:

• 2006
• 2011
• 2014

There are those who regularly dispute these certifications... the very same parties who took part in writing the criteria!!

The Buzz

Don't Just Take Our Word For It...People Are Talking...

"We have only seen positive effects of Allentown IVC cages on our animals, on their health, well-being, and breeding results, as well as for the environmental safety of the staff."

"We've use Allentown IVC units for years and have no reason to switch. We've bred 1000 lines of custom mouse strains in our Allentown IVCs through the years."

"That air supply in Allentown IVC cages would be stressful is nonsense. Our animals housed in their equipment are healthy, well-being, and show excellent breeding results. The mice build their nests both in front of and away from the valves, and this is most likely strain dependent and not a consequence of stress."

"I can easily recommend other facilities to use Allentown IVC housing. I cannot point to any negative effects of cage design, air-flow, or ergonomics. Our animals housed in these systems are unstressed, healthy, and well-being."

"In comparison tests we found little difference in mouse behaviour in cages where air enters at low level compared to high level. Indeed nesting, feeding, grooming and littering occurred at the back of the cage adjacent to the air inlets. We also found during smoke tests that there was no visible air turbulence in Allentown cages and the smoke cleared more consistently and in significantly less time that in other cage types."

"Allentown systems have provided a safe environment for our animals for many years. There are no signs of stress, and animals breed perfectly well in our systems."

"As a user of Allentown IVC's since their introduction into the UK, we have continued to have complete confidence in this product. There is no indication of any stress caused by the location of the air supply and no evidence of our mice trying to escape from draughts!"

"I feel confident in recommending Allentown's air in the cage level system. We have now been using it for over 2 years and have found it to be safe for even our most vulnerable animals such as NUDEs and other delicate strains. Breeding performance is excellent and the animals are thriving in this extremely effective method of managing our state of the art transgenic strains."

"...there is no evidence that the air valve causes any stress to the mice housed in the Allentown ventilated racks. We commonly observe mice building their nest directly in front of the valve. If the valve was a stressor, I would doubt that the mice would build their nest directly in front of the valve."

"...cages with air supply near the bottom exchanged air in the cage better and more completely than systems with air supplied in the top of the cage."

"In my experience using Allentown Inc. IVC cages, there have been no adverse effects on breeding efficiency. We have over 6000 Allentown IVC cages in a barrier breeding facility and have an excellent breeding efficiency."

"After using Allentown caging for years I have not seen any evidence of stress in these animals as a result of the caging."

" say [air at the cage level] is stressful is one thing, to define it in the absence of a definition of stress or data or findings to support the statement is very unrealistic and creates ambiguity around the issue of stress. I have not seen or observed animals in the [Allentown] cages getting out of the way of the airflows described."

The Truth

An awful lot of effort is being expended in a decade-long sales and marketing campaign in order to convince our industry that Allentown IVCs are "bad for research." Ask yourself...why? Why would a vendor choose to knock down the competition instead of speaking to the advantages of their own system? Why would a vendor apply for a patent (and have it not meet requirements) for their own ACL system if they believed that ACL was faulty? Why would a vendor cherry-pick statements out of various scientific studies to confuse you about ACL and use fear-selling tactics? Shouldn't the health and safety of your animals, your staff and your research be the main concern? Are they thinking about that...or their bottom line??

Don't be bullied into a solution that isn't right for you, your research or your animals. At Allentown we are truthful with our partners. We take our relationship with our customers and the research industry too seriously to be anything else but. No sales pitch, just an honest assessment of how Allentown housing solutions can help you, your facility and your research. Simply the truth.

Important Questions You Need to Ask

If someone is telling you that ACL is bad for your research, be sure to ask him or her the following fair questions:

Q. How do you explain the fact that ACL systems have been on the market for over 20 years and are used at some of the world's most prestigious research institutions?

Q. If you consider all of the IVC manufacturers who employ the ACL method, there are at least 50,000 ACL IVC systems in the field, used at research institutions throughout the world, housing over 20,000,000 animals throughout the years. Is it your contention that all of these institutions have been providing poor microenvironments for their animals all of this time?

Q. Do you have any scientific proof that ACL is bad for research?

Q. If yes, then who conducted the study? Were they, or are they currently, customers of yours?

Q. If the scientific proof you're referring to is the Vera Baumans paper entitled "Individually Ventilated Cages: Beneficial for Mice and Men?" that paper also claims that air introduced into the lid of the cage system causes air dead-spots in the front and back of the cage. Do you believe that this is also true? And if it is, wouldn't dead-spots allow for wetter bedding and higher ammonia within the cage?

Q. IVC systems that introduce air into the lid appear to require higher air changes per hour (ACH), and result in higher pressure within the cage than ACL systems. Wouldn't higher ACH and higher pressure potentially make cages more susceptible to leaks? And also potentially require more energy for use?

Q. So that I may speak with them directly, can you provide me with the contact information for ACL users with whom you have spoken, and who have concluded that their ACL systems cause stress to their animals?

Q. Has your company ever had, or applied for, a patent for your own ACL system?