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THE INSTITUTIONAL ANIMAL CARE AND USE COMMITTEE (IACUC)

IACUC POLICY

MAINTAINING RESEARCH ANIMALS OUTSIDE OF LARC SPACE

Research animals shall be housed in the facilities of the Laboratory Animal Resource Center (LARC); they may not be housed/held in individual laboratories or study areas for more than 12 hours.  Any space outside of LARC to which animals are moved for study, testing or observation must be listed in the IACUC-approved protocol, must be maintained in accordance with all applicable policies, regulations and guidelines and is subject to periodic inspection by the IACUC and (for some species) the USDA. 

Use, study or housing of animals outside of LARC spaces for more than 12 hours (hereafter referred to as ‘Lab Housing’) is discouraged, and approval for such locations will be given only in exceptional cases.  To apply for this approval, a modification to an IACUC-approved protocol must be generated through RIO and the Committee will review and approve the space, if all inspection requirements are met.  Such space must be maintained in accordance with all applicable policies, regulations and guidelines. 

Arrangements for animal husbandry (care & maintenance) must be made in advance and must conform to the Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals (the Guide) and all other applicable regulations, policies, and guidelines.  Arrangements for obtaining cages and other LARC-owned equipment must be made in advance. Arrangements to utilize LARC staff for husbandry services may also be made, if appropriate.

If Lab Housing is approved by the IACUC, approvals are only valid for the specific protocol, species, number of animals and specific project (or group of animals within a larger protocol) for which IACUC approval has been obtained.  It is not to be considered “blanket approval” for a space.  Lab Housing approval is subject to revocation in the case of non-compliance with policies, regulations or University Guidelines.

If you will be holding animals outside of LARC facilities for less than 12 hours, all locations must be listed in your protocol in the “locations” section of RIO.  Please follow the UCSF Guidelines on Maintaining Non-USDA Covered Species Procedure/Surgery Areas, and other applicable University guidelines listed on this website.

To follow is an outline of this policy for maintaining research animals outside of LARC space for more than 12 hours.  (Click on the appropriate section for more detail)

  1. The request for maintaining animals outside of LARC space for greater than 12 hours must be submitted to the IACUC and approved before maintenance of animals can occur. (link to (1) below)
  2. Spaces must meet the physical and environmental requirements outlined by the Guide, and it must be inspected by IACUC or LARC staff prior to approval.
  3. The PI is responsible for ensuring that the space is appropriately prepared and maintained for use as a lab housing or extended study location.
  4. The PI is responsible for ensuring that all lab personnel abide by all University policies and guidelines, and the Guide.
  5. The space must be inspected by IACUC or LARC staff before housing animals, and every 6 months after approval is obtained.
  6. The space will be approved only for the specific procedure, project, or protocol; one Lab Housing approval for a laboratory does not automatically apply to all protocols a laboratory may hold.
  7. The space is subject to annual approvals by the IACUC.

(1) The request for maintaining animals outside of LARC space for more than 12 hours must be submitted to the IACUC and approved before maintenance of animals can occur.

  • The PI must submit a modification in RIO to the approved IACUC protocol requesting “Lab Housing or Extended Study” and listing the room location in the location section. 
  • The Lab Housing worksheet in Section L of the online RIO protocol application must be completed, including the justification for the request. 
  • Justification should include appropriate information such as references from the literature, specifics on biosafety, chemical, or radiation containment, etc., with regard to specific procedures and equipment to be used so that the IACUC can make an informed decision.
  • To be considered, the area must meet minimum criteria set forth in the Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals (Guide), Chapter 2, "Animal Environment, Housing and Management" (National Research Council) and conform with the IACUC Requirements for Implementation of Laboratory Housing and Study Areas for Research Animals (see below).
  • The PI must make sure that the modification request is approved in advance of use.

(2)  Spaces must meet the physical and environmental requirements outlined by the Guide, and it must be inspected by IACUC or LARC staff prior to approval.

  • Ventilation, temperature and humidity must be adequate for the number of animals housed. An HVAC measurement by Facilities Management (CPFM) is required to determine the number of air exchanges per hour.  If this number is not adequate per the Guide, permission to house may not be granted.  Contact CPFM at 476-5343 for the appropriate campus contact.
  • The facility must be available 24 hours a day for access by LARC or IACUC staff. Attending veterinarian will require a key to the space.
  • Animals must be held under secure conditions such that they cannot escape from their enclosures or be removed from the laboratory by unauthorized individuals.
  • Fish and amphibian housing will require special review by CPFM to make sure there is adequate supply of water, drainage and electricity for the aquaria, or tank, pumps, etc. 476-5343.

(3) The PI is responsible for ensuring that the space is appropriately prepared and maintained for use as a Lab Housing or Extended Study location.

  • The facility must be available 24 hours a day for access by LARC or IACUC staff. The Attending veterinarian will require a key to the space.
  • If LARC will be providing services or supplies beyond routine veterinary care, the PI must make special arrangements with the LARC Director or the Husbandry Manager.
  • Animals must be visually inspected by a lab member (or LARC if so contracted) every day, including weekends and holidays, and the inspection documented.
  • For shared spaces, each Principal Investigator for the approved protocol will assume responsibility to assure that animal care is conducted in accord with the approved application.
  • Investigators with approved use of laboratories for housing areas must comply with the expired drugs and materials for animal research policy.
  • Animals must be provided with adequate food and water at all times.
  • UCSF transportation guidelines must be adhered to while moving animals to and from laboratories, including covering cages in public hallways.
  • Cages or transportation boxes must not be left in public corridors
  • All rodent cages must have micro-isolator bonnets to reduce potential allergens and transmission of rodent infections.
  • Animal waste should be disposed of in dirty cages and returned to the dirty side of LARC cage wash, unless Biosafety, Radiation Safety, or other considerations require special handling.
  • LARC veterinary services must be contacted for concerns about animal health.
  • Cages must be cleaned at least once per week (or more often if odor is noted).
  • The animals must be housed in standard sized cages (see, pp. 27-28 of Guide unless other cages are approved by the IACUC.
  • If contracting LARC to provide animal husbandry services in the laboratory space, a standing request for delivery of supplies (food and cages) by LARC must be made prior to housing any animals and subsequent to approval for laboratory housing. This service will be on a per-diem recharge basis. Contact LARC at 476-2204 for questions.
  • Light sources in the laboratory must be on a timer, unless other arrangements are granted by the IACUC.
  • Food and supplies must be appropriately stored in lidded, leak-proof, vermin-proof containers. Food must be used within its shelf life. For most commercial feeds this is within 6 months of the milling date.
  • Once approval is received, the PI must conspicuously post the PI name, current protocol number, emergency contact information for lab members, the IACUC/LARC Expired Drug Policy, an animal Care & Use Concerns poster, and the LARC veterinarian on-call phone number.
  • Record Keeping Requirements:
    • Record-keeping and documentation form provided by the IACUC
    • Food must be labeled with milling date or expiration date on the container, and initials of the person completing the label.
    • Temperature and humidity, including minimum and maximum, must be recorded for every day (including weekends and holidays) that animals are present. The records must be maintained until IACUC authorizes their disposal.
    • Daily animal health surveillance must be performed and documented.
    • Animal care activities (checking animals, feeding, cleaning etc) must be documented every day (including weekends and holidays)
    • Daily census of animals or number of cages must be maintained.

(4) The PI is responsible for ensuring that all lab personnel abide by all University policies and guidelines, and the Guide

(5) The area must be inspected by IACUC or LARC staff before housing animals, and every 6 months after approval is obtained.

  • IACUC and/or LARC staff will inspect the space and discuss the specific requirements outlined in this policy and the Guide.  The space may need to be inspected multiple times until it is determined to be in satisfactory condition for animals to be housed/maintained.
  • After initial approval, the space will be inspected no less than every 6 months.  This may or may not coincide with the renewal of the approved IACUC protocol.
  • Once approval is received, the PI must conspicuously post the PI name, current protocol number, emergency contact information for lab members, the IACUC/LARC Expired Drug Policy, an animal Care & Use Concerns poster, and the LARC veterinarian on call phone number.

(6) The space will be approved only for the specific procedure, project, or protocol;  one Lab Housing approval for a laboratory does not automatically apply to all protocols a laboratory may hold, or all PI’s who share the space.

  • Lab Housing approval is given for a specific group of animals within a protocol, or animals undergoing a specific procedure.  All animals on that protocol are not authorized to be maintained in the lab housing area.
  • If a PI has Lab Housing approval for one protocol, all protocols for that PI are not automatically included.
  • If a Lab Housing space is shared among several PIs, each PI must obtain separate Lab Housing approval for his/her IACUC approved protocol.

(7) The space is subject to regular approvals by the IACUC

  • Approval may be granted for up to one year. Every request for laboratory housing space must be re-approved annually in the animal use protocol renewal application.
  • In addition, every year the space must be re-justified for use.  The justification for maintaining animals outside of LARC space must be current with the objectives and design of the approved IACUC protocol.
  • The inspection schedule may or may not coincide with the approval of the protocol.
  • Additional species-specific requirements based on the “Guide” will be included in the final approval.