Animal Care Policies

Policy Related Unit Revised Date Summary
Acceptable Methods of Euthanasia

Methods of euthanizing animals assigned to IACUC protocols must follow the most recently published AVMA Guidelines for the Euthanasia of Animals whenever possible.

Adoption of Research or Teaching Animals

This policy defines the circumstances and procedures by which University-owned dogs, cats, and horses no longer needed for University research or teaching (collectively “Research Animals”) may be offered for adoption as pets.

Animal Facility Access

Access to animal facilities managed by the Division of Animal Resources (DAR) requires authorization from DAR management.

Animal Facility Photography and Videography

Photographs or filming of animals and animal housing or procedural space within the DAR laboratory animal facilities must have prior approval from DAR veterinarians.

Animal Facility Tour

Access to the animal facilities is restricted to animal care staff and research personnel that are included on an IACUC-approved protocol due to security and biosecurity concerns.

Animal Housing

Animal housing will follow the recommendations in the Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals (8th edition or more current) or the Guide for the Care and Use of Agricultural Animals in Research and Teaching (3rd edition or more current).

Biosecurity and Biocontainment

Biosecurity and biocontainment practices are important to preventing disease outbreaks resulting from exposure to pathogens in imported or resident colonies, flocks, or herds.

Care and Use of Animals in University-Sponsored Activities

To establish institutional oversight and to comply with federal and state laws and regulations pertaining to the care and use of animals.

Controlled Substances

DEA regulations require that principal investigators obtain their own Federal and State of Illinois controlled substances licenses.

Environmental Enrichment

All animals must receive appropriate and consistent environmental enrichment. The nature of enrichment is species- and age- or developmental-stage-specific.

Establishing Mouse Breeding Groups

This policy outlines guidelines for establishing and maintaining mouse breeding groups in accordance with the 2011 version of the Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals.

Exercising Dogs

Dogs housed singly in runs that have at least twice the minimum floor space described by The Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals, 8th Ed. (the Guide)1, or dogs housed in pairs or groups that have the sum of the required minimum floor space for each dog do not require additional exercise.

Exporting Laboratory Animals

The University of Illinois investigator will provide DAR with information required to produce a health status report and contact information for the receiving institution’s veterinarian or import/export coordinator and the receiving investigator.

Food Restriction for Rodents

Rodents must be fed a nutritionally complete diet ad libitum unless adequate scientific justification for food restriction is provided in the animal use protocol.

Importing Rodents into University of Illinois Animal Facilities

Only animals originating from an approved commercial vendor or other approved sources are received in the University of Illinois animal facilities without undergoing additional screening, quarantine, rederivation, or other suitable monitoring or decontamination procedures.

Monitoring and Documentation of Animals at Risk for Morbidity and Mortality

All animals must be observed at least once daily by trained individuals who are familiar with the species unless a specific exception has been granted by IACUC.

Occupational Health and Safety in the Care and Use of Animals

The Public Health Service Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare (OLAW) requires the University to implement an occupational health and safety program for faculty, staff, and students (“personnel”) who work in laboratory animal facilities or who have frequent contact with animals

Oversight of Investigator-Maintained Animal Colonies

PIs and personnel approved by IACUC to provide animal care are subject to routine oversight by DAR or AACUP.

Prioritization of Animals

If a disaster limits viable housing and resources, the DAR director and/or veterinarians will assess animal colonies to determine priority status affecting distribution of resources.

Procurement of Laboratory Animals

This policy applies to the procurement of all animals (including fish and birds) maintained in Division of Animal Resources (DAR) facilities. Procurement of animals from off-campus sources or animal transfers between campus research and teaching protocols require approval in advance via the Animal Request Form.

Protocol Amendment Review

The IACUC has determined that certain changes to IACUC protocols may be reviewed via concurrence between the Veterinarian staff and the IACUC Chair or designee, and approved administratively without full committee review (FCR) or designated member review (DMR).

Providing Health Care for Agricultural Animals Imported for Use in Research and Teaching

When animals used in research and teaching are born or hatched in UIUC production units, the AACUP Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) subsidizes the costs of health care, contingent upon completion of required preconditioning of the animals prior to shipment from the source herd.

Reporting Adverse Events

Adverse events or unexpected outcomes for animals assigned to approved protocols must be reported to the appropriate veterinary staff and to the IACUC.

Reporting Morbidity and Mortality in Animals Used in Research

Individuals charged with performing animal observations, whether members of the animal husbandry staff or the research team, are responsible for reporting animal health- or welfare-related problems according to established procedures.

Stabilization of Newly Arrived Research and Teaching Animals

Following transport to a campus facility, animals should be maintained in their home cages/pens for at least 48 hours prior to use in teaching or research activities.

Survival Surgery on Animals

Survival surgical procedures performed on research, testing and teaching animals must be done by qualified personnel using aseptic technique in appropriate facilities.

Testing Biological Specimens to be Implanted into Live Laboratory Rodents

Animal cells and tissues can transmit pathogens and infect laboratory rodents, so cells and tissues at risk should be tested for rodent pathogens before they are injected or implanted into rodents. 

Transportation of Animals

The IACUC is responsible for oversight and assurance of the well-being of research and teaching animals during transportation between study areas

Use of Non-Pharmaceutical Grade Compounds in Animals

Pharmaceutical-grade chemicals, when available, should be used for all animal-related procedures.1 Use of pharmaceutical-grade chemicals in laboratory animals reduces the potential for extraneous compounds to be introduced that in turn might cause toxic or unwanted side effects.

Use of Sedatives, Analgesics, and Anesthetics in Animals Used in Research and Teaching

It is difficult to assess pain and distress in animals, so procedures that cause pain or distress in humans should be assumed to cause similar effects in animals.

Wire-Bottom Caging for Rodents

Acceptable primary enclosures for rodents.

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