Record-Keeping and Reporting of Animal Numbers

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Researcher Responsibilities: 

All researchers understand the importance of accurate and copious records - they are the backbone of your research endeavors and the basis for scientific publications, grant proposals, etc.  In addition to laboratory notebooks and other data-based research records, researchers that use live animals should also maintain records of:

  • Training for all personnel who work with live animals.
  • Surgical and post-operative monitoring records.
  • Post-procedural monitoring records (e.g., water/food restriction logs)
  • Number of animals used for research purposes
    • These are animals that undergo experimental procedures and/or manipulations (e.g., behavior tests, drug administration, euthanasia for tissue collection, etc.)
    • Records should include how the animals were used and the relevant USDA pain category (C, D, or E)
    • Includes exotic species not purchased through ULAR, wild-caught animals, etc.
  • Total number of animals produced in breeding colonies but not used in experiments.  These animals are all USDA pain category B and the total number includes: 
    • Animals held as replacement breeders
    • Animals that are euthanized immediately prior to weaning (e.g. culled littermates)
    • NOTE:  Animals produced in the breeding colonies that are used in experiments are to be counted as "used for research purposes" in the relevant USDA pain category.

Guidance for Reporting Animal Numbers:

  • All animals purchased through ULAR are automatically deducted from a protocol's approved allocation in RMS.
  • Animals transferred by ULAR (e.g. from other institutions, or between protocols at UCI) are recorded in RMS by ULAR administrative staff.  Click HERE to find the total number of animals used as reported in RMS.  
  • The number of animals produced in campus breeding colonies or obtained by other methods (e.g. wild-caught, obtained from non-traditional sources) is not automatically recorded in RMS and must be recorded by the researcher and reported to the IACUC at least once per year. 
  • While the IACUC does not require any specific method or software for maintaining breeding colony records, accurate records are absolutely required for both scientific and animal-welfare reasons.  See IACUC Policy on Rodent Breeding Colonies
  • In order to avoid double-counting animals, you should omit the number of breeder animals currently in the breeding colony if they were reported during a previous protocol reporting period.  Click HERE for instructions on how to look up your previously-submitted Annual Report in RMS.

Reporting Animal Numbers via the Annual Report:

At the end of each protocol year, Principal Investigators or their designees must submit a progress report for the reporting period.  Reporting periods begin with the protocol approval date:

  1. End of Year 1 = IACUC approval date + 365 days = Annual Report due
  2. End of Year 2 = IACUC approval date + 730 days = Annual Report due
  3. End of 3-year protocol period = IACUC approval date + 1095 days = Submit rewritten protocol for full committee review.

To determine the current reporting period, click HERE.

Each Annual Review submission should include the number of animals used in research during the last protocol year, including

  • Number of animals purchased or transferred through ULAR and used for either research purposes or as breeding animals.  NOTE:  Report all animals in the appropriate USDA Pain Category B, C, D or E, according to how they were used. 
  • Number of offspring produced in the colony and used for research purposes (these animals should be reported in the appropriate USDA Pain Category C, D, or E)
  • Number of offspring produced in the colony and maintained as replacement breeders (Category B).
  • Number of offspring produced in the colony but not used for any purpose, such as culled littermates (also Category B)

As part of the administrative processing of Annual Review information, IACUC staff will compare the number of animals reported by the lab to the total number of animals counted against the approved allocation in RMS and update the RMS totals as necessary.

Click HERE for more information about renewing ongoing animal-use protocols. 

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