Use of the ULAR Holding Protocol


Federal regulations require the IACUC to review and approve all activities involving the use of live vertebrate animals; all animals intended for use in research, testing, and teaching or for related purposes must be housed under an active and approved IACUC protocol at all times.

Occasionally, situations occur where protocols become inactive (e.g., expiration, suspension), but animals remain in the vivarium.  In order to avoid euthanasia of valuable research animals, and to remain in compliance with regulatory requirements, the IACUC allows ULAR to transfer animals to the so-called Holding Protocol for a maximum of 60 days.  During this time, investigators must take the necessary actions to gain re-approval of their animal use protocol in order to avoid forfeiture of their animals.

The IACUC will consider other circumstances for the housing animals on the Holding Protocol on a case-by-case basis (e.g., transfer of new UCI faculty from other institutions). Requests to use the Holding Protocol must be reviewed by ULAR and routed to the IACUC for final approval.

Conditions of the Holding Protocol

While animals are housed on the Holding Protocol, the following conditions apply:

  • Housing Only

    The use of the Holding Protocol is limited to animal housing. No experimental manipulations, collection of data or harvest of tissue are allowed.

  • Restricted Access

    Animals housed under the ULAR Holding Protocol cannot be used for research or teaching purposes - Collection of data from live animals is prohibited.

    The IACUC notifies the Lead Researcher and all research personnel on the protocol (via e-mail) when animals are under the Holding Protocol. Any use of animals housed under the Holding Protocol will be treated as serious regulatory non-compliance.

  • Cage Labeling

    Animal cage cards may be marked with the ULAR Holding Protocol number, and/or a Holding Protocol sign posted in the animal housing room. When feasible, animals may be moved to a secured housing area.

  • Husbandry and Animal Care

    Per diem charges for animals on the Holding Protocol are the responsibility of the investigator. NOTE:  Federal funds (e.g. NIH grant funds) may not be used to pay for costs associated with animal research in the absence of an approved IACUC protocol.

    ULAR will continue normal animal care for ULAR-maintained animals and may assume responsibility for husbandry of PI-maintained animals. Exceptions to ULAR husbandry care may be granted for labs with PI-maintained animals requiring specialized animal husbandry and care; this exception will be determined by the IACUC office.

    Breeding animals are not separated by ULAR (unless requested by the lab). Any offspring produced will be weaned as necessary by ULAR.

    Standard veterinary treatment will be provided as needed and/or euthanasia will be performed by and at the discretion of ULAR staff.

  • Reinstatement

    When protocols are reinstated or approved, ULAR will be notified to transfer animals from the Holding Protocol to the approved protocol.

  • 60 Day Limit

    Animals remaining at the end of sixty days will be euthanized or transferred by ULAR to another approved protocol.

For more information, contact a ULAR veterinarian at (949) 824-7788.