Record-Keeping and Reporting of Animal Numbers


Researcher Responsibilities

Guidance for Reporting Animal Numbers

Reporting Animal Numbers in the Annual Review

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:

The following animal numbers are recorded in RMS, and deducted from a protocol's approved allocation. 

  • Animals purchased through ULAR
  • Animals transferred by ULAR (e.g. from other institutions, or between protocols at UCI)
    --See guidance for how to Find Animal Numbers 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) are not 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
  • To avoid double-counting animals, you should omit the number of breeder animals currently in the breeding colony if they were already reported during a previous protocol reporting period.  See guidance for how to look up previously-submitted Annual Reviews in RMS.

Reporting Animal Numbers via the Annual Review:

At the end of each protocol year, Principal Investigators or their designees must submit a progress report (Annual Review) 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 -- the highest pain category according to how they were usedaccording 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.

Need to look up your animal numbers? = Find Animal Numbers in RMS 

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

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