IACUC Holding Protocol


The Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals (the Guide, NRC 2011) requires that all animals used in research, testing, or education must be covered under a protocol approved by an Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC). In the event that animals are not on an active protocol (e.g. expiration, suspension, pending-approval) the IACUC has developed the following Standard Operating Procedure to handle animal care and disposition. The IACUC is mandated to report all serious or continuing issues of non-compliance to OLAW and/or the USDA, if applicable.

IACUC Procedure

1. If animals are in-house and not on an active protocol the principal investigator (PI) and his/her department chairperson will be notified that all animals will be immediately transferred to the IACUC Holding Protocol.

2. The animals will be maintained in the Division of Laboratory Animal Resources (DLAR) facilities and routine husbandry provided by DLAR staff. Exceptions for species that require specialized facilities and/or husbandry (e.g. zebrafish) may be granted with written consent from the IACUC.

3. Once animals are transferred to the Holding Protocol, the principal investigator will no longer be able to perform experimental procedures on any of the animals except in rare circumstances (see #4). This includes data collection, sample collection, surgery, administering test substances, or any other procedures that may have been previously approved.

4. The Chairperson (or designee) of the IACUC has the authority to amend the Holding Protocol to include procedures necessary to allow breeding, which could include special husbandry care, genotyping, and/or culling in order to maintain valuable animals or foundation stock (e.g., transgenic, knock-out, or mutant mice). In these instances, the PI must provide scientific justification, a detailed breeding plan, and describe the genotyping method and designate who will perform the duties. At the Chairperson's discretion, the Holding Protocol may also be amended to include other procedures, for example it may be necessary to add a procedure to save the life of animals, retain priceless tumors by approving passage, etc. Like a request for breeding, all details must be described in writing to the IACUC.

5. DLAR per diem rates for animals maintained on the Holding Protocol will be charged to the PI or his/her department chairperson, as will all costs associated with breeding procedures, if applicable.

6. After a resolution (e.g. approved protocol, lifted suspension) has been reached, the animals will be transferred to the PI.

7. If a resolution as to the disposition of the animals on the Holding Protocol cannot be reached, the animals will either be euthanized by an AVMA-approved method or, if the animals are suitable, offered by the IACUC for transfer to appropriate, approved animal protocols maintained by other investigators. The Institutional Official will be notified.