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Acclimation Period

Rationale

Policy

Recommendations

Exceptions


Rationale

Transportation and introduction of animals into an unfamiliar vivarium are potentially stressful events and may have a detrimental effect on the animals' general health and wellbeing. Most animals benefit from a period of time for physiological, psychological, and nutritional stabilization to occur. An acclimation period allows animals time to stabilize in a new environment and promotes both animal welfare and reproducible experimental results.


Policy

All animals must receive a basic health assessment upon arrival and before any procedures are performed (see recommendations below). To avoid unwanted variations in data and potential complications, all animals should be allowed to acclimate to their new surroundings for a period of time before they undergo any experimental procedures or other manipulations. 


Recommendations


Species Procedures to be Performed Acclimation Period
Rodents/Non-mammalian vertebrates* Non-surgical procedures 48 hours required unless immediate use is justified
Rodents/Non-mammalian vertebrates* Surgical - non-survival 48 hours recommended
Rodents/Non-mammalian vertebrates* Surgical - Survival 48 hours required unless immediate use is justified
Larger Mammals** Non-surgical procedures 72 hours required unless immediate use is justified
Larger Mammals** Surgical - non-survival 72 hours recommended
Larger Mammals** Surgical - Survival 72 hours required unless immediate use is justified

* Includes but is not limited to birds, amphibians and reptiles
** Includes but is not limited to rabbits, cats, swine, sheep and goats

 


Exceptions

The IACUC may grant exceptions to this policy on a case-by-case basis, following careful consideration of the potential impact of transportation stress on the animals. 


References

  • Conour LA, Murray KA, Brown MJ. Preparation of animals for research--issues to consider for rodents and rabbits. ILAR J. 2006;47(4):283-93.
  • Obernier JA, Baldwin RL. Establishing an appropriate period of acclimatization following transportation of laboratory animals. ILAR J. 2006;47(4):364-9.

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