To operate efficiently and comply with federal laws and regulations animal facilities must keep certain records pertaining to the care, use and disposition of animals housed within the facility. The following are some of the forms, logs, and other documentation you may need to complete in the course of your work within a UAF animal facility.
Record Keeping Animal Identification
In general, the IACUC requires that each animal assigned to an Assurance be individually identifiable through the use of tags, bands, tattoos, dyes, etc. Animals that are housed singly may be identified through the use of cage cards rather than by placing a tag or mark on the animal. Exceptions to this practice are allowed for breeding colonies of small rodents where same sex littermates may be housed together, and for group-housed fish or amphibians. For exceptions in other cases contact the Office of Research Integrity.
Room Cards, Animal Census, and Daily Records
Specific information is required for each room, environmental chamber, or pen housing animals. At a minimum the following information must be provided: name of the principal investigator and emergency contact information, IACUC Assurance No(s)., time of lights on and off, ambient temperature, and, if appropriate, the name and contact information for the technician or graduate student responsible for the project. If animals on multiple assurances are housed in the same room or chamber, the rack or cage cards must clearly indicate which animals are on which assurance.
An animal census/inventory for the room, environmental chamber, pen or tank must be maintained. This should be a running count that is updated as necessary.
A daily activity record is also required. This record should show what was done with the animals (health check, cage cleaning, etc.), when the activity occurred, and who performed the activity. The IACUC requires that all animals be checked daily for signs of illness, distress or injury; unless an alternate method is approved by the IACUC this inspection must be performed visually.
The daily census and daily activity record are typically combined. This information is for the animal facility records; researchers may make copies for their own use.
Each animal facility maintains a single disposition log to track what has been done to or with the animals housed in that facility. The disposition log should be updated whenever the following occur:
- animals are brought into or removed from the animal facility, regardless of whether the move is temporary or permanent; the record should include where they came from or went
- animals are subjected to any manipulation or treatment (note: initial research surgeries should be recorded, but normal post-operative care should only be recorded on the surgical log)
- sick, injured or distressed animals are identified
- an animal is examined or treated by Veterinary Services personnel
- an animal dies or is euthanized
- animals are moved to a new room, pen, tank, etc. within the facility
The disposition log is a veterinary services record and is the their primary source of information regarding what has been done to individual animals.
In keeping with regulatory requirements, UAF requires that surgical records be kept in the animal facility throughout the research and for three years after the end of the project or for the life of the animal (whichever is longer).
Surgical logs and records of post-surgical care are veterinary services records; investigators may make copies for their research records.