Rodent Breeding Colony Compliance

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Office for Research Protections     |     Institutional Animal and Care Use Committee (IACUC) 

To fulfill Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare (OLAW) guidance, investigators need to closely monitor their breeding colonies, and the IACUC requires all labs to keep up-to-date records of rodent counts in their colonies. OLAW expects all live rodents be counted at their first handling -- which may be, for example, during genotyping, euthanasia, or first cage changing -- and investigators should record births as soon as they identify them and deduct the births from the IACUC approved animal limit in their records. Animal usage should not exceed the limit approved by the IACUC.

Investigators must report animal counts to the IACUC as part of their annual renewals, and actual animal counts and lab records of counts are subject to IACUC inspection at other times.

The IACUC breeding application currently requires investigators to estimate all animals required for the experiment over 3 years. This includes the total number of breeders needed for the experiment, the total of offspring, and overall total (pre-weaned, weaned, and adult).  When planning a study, investigators should do try to estimate as accurately as possible, so the IACUC can approve an adequate number of animals.

For questions about rodent numbers and counting, contact the IACUC at 814-865-1775 or