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User Fees & Animal Census

Investigators housing animals in Penn State facilities are charged animal care fees based on the number and species of animals they maintain.

The charges for animal care are determined by a per diem rate for each species that includes the cost of labor, food, bedding and supplies. The rates are revised annually after evaluation by the University's resident federal auditors. Investigators are billed monthly and charges are based on a daily census. Investigators are not charged for clinical veterinary care and diagnostic testing related to ill or injured animals, routine animal facility health surveillance testing, or training provided by the ARP veterinary staff for investigator employees and students.

Animal Census Management

ARP uses a Microsoft Access Database to manage animal census information for billing purposes.  Please follow the instructions below to ensure an accurate count of your animals.

Scanning (animal counting) is conducted weekly.  A “population card” that sits behind the cage card must be used to indicate the number of animals in each cage. When the number of animals per cage changes, the population card must be rotated to indicate the new number. The ARP scanner will use the number showing on the population card to record census.

Cage Cards


ARP will provide new incoming animals with cage cards.  Cage cards will not be provided for animals that are weaned or separated.  Each lab is responsible for providing 3 X 5 inch cage cards for these animals as needed. Cage cards should be made using card stock, not writing or printer paper. Normal paper is too thin to stay in the cage card holder and will fall out. This will result in inaccurate cage identification that may invalidate your research results. Examples of regular and breeding cage card templates that provide the information required for census purposes are found at these links. You may request preprinted cage cards from the ARP for $20/400 cards.

Information that should be included on cage cards:

  • PI name and IACUC protocol number
  • Species and strain/stock information
  • Sex(es)
  • Date(s) of birth

If you have questions about the census system please contact the ARP office at 865-1495.