IACUC Animal Holding Protocol Policy

Approved: April, 2008
Revised: May, 2008

Policy Title: Holding of Animals not covered by active Animal Care and Use Protocols


  • All vertebrate animals housed at Brown University must be covered by an active, approved IACUC protocol. The IACUC cannot permit activities such as breeding, training demonstrations, experimental manipulations, or euthanasia to be performed with vertebrate animals that do not come under an IACUC approved protocol; this is required by the Public Health Service Policy on the Humane Care and Use of Laboratory Animals (PHS Policy) and the USDA Animal Welfare Regulations. Violations are reportable by the Institutional Official to the Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare at NIH.
  • Circumstances can arise in which animals held for a study are no longer covered by an IACUC approved protocol. The IACUC has established, in conjunction with Animal Care, a mechanism for holding animals not assigned to a current Brown University protocol: the Animal Care Holding Protocol under the Director of Animal Care. Animals housed under this protocol are completely off limits to Principal Investigators (PIs) or their laboratory personnel. No experimental or teaching procedures are permitted. Such manipulations include but are not limited to: data collection, sample collection, surgery, administering substances, training/performance of tasks, etc. However, the IACUC will take under consideration requests to maintain the experimental viability of the animals. Any animal housing related charges will continue to be the responsibility of the Principal Investigator but may not be charged to an external funding agency grant.

Researcher: - will work with the IACUC to ensure that there is IACUC approval for any anticipated or ongoing animal use including breeding.
IACUC: - will maintain a mechanism for rapid transfer of animals in cases where it is necessary to protect the well-being or welfare of animals, or to prevent the wastage of animals. The IACUC will notify the Animal Care office, in writing, that the transfer has been approved.
Director, Animal Care (or designee): - will implement the Animal Care Holding Protocol for the purpose of receipt or maintenance of animals that would otherwise be euthanized for lack of an existing approved protocol. The IACUC provides approval under this policy to provide for the health and well-being of the animals. Examples might include: ongoing post-operative care, chronic catheter maintenance, administration of insulin, etc., that may be performed by the Animal Care staff under the supervision of the Director. Animal Care administration will report to the IACUC at each semiannual Program Review regarding all activities under the protocol. Medical treatments and/or euthanasia will be at the discretion of the Director or designee.

Use of the Holding Protocol is intended to be temporary. Situations which might be covered under this protocol include:

  • Animals ordered without an approved protocol. The Animal Care office, which is responsible for ordering all animals, will usually require IACUC approval prior to placing the order. However the Director of Animal Care (or designee), with the knowledge of the IACUC Chair and the Director of Research Protection, may approve the order under extenuating circumstances during the protocol review process provided the investigator requests it and has internal funding to cover the purchase and costs prior to protocol approval. It is understood that the investigator may not use the animal for any purpose until his/her protocol is approved.
  • Animals originating from inactive (or terminated) protocols.
  • Animals on a protocol under investigation for potential issues of noncompliance where the welfare or well-being of the animals is in question and after IACUC suspension of activity.
  • New investigators without an approved Brown protocol having animals that may require immediate housing at Brown.
  • Investigators that are leaving Brown and do not have the necessary approvals for animal transfer to their new institution. It is recommended that investigators maintain an active protocol to cover costs and charge the grant until the transfer of animals is complete.

The Animal Care Holding Protocol is activated by completing the Animal Care Holding Protocol Request (ACHPR) form. Animal Care is not otherwise authorized to transfer animals belonging to a Principal Investigator.

  • Complete the ACHPR form providing the details requested including animal care details (see below). For expired protocols, the PI or their department chairperson will be required to identify an internal account which may be charged for the costs associated with the animals' care.
  • Submit the ACHPR to the IACUC office.
  • Approval: The Chair of the IACUC, the Director of Animal Care or the Director of Research Protection can authorize the transfer of animals from an active protocol to the holding protocol. All actions will be reported to the IACUC at the next regularly scheduled meeting.
  • Notification: The IACUC will notify Animal Care in writing that the transfer has been approved and, when applicable, Animal Care will verify that the transfer has been completed and that no animals are being housed under the expired protocol.
  • Transfer the animals included in the ACHPR. Animal Care will be responsible for identifying the animals; this can be done at the cage level, on the animal room door, or both.
  • Effective on the day following the transfer, where applicable, move all animal charges to university accounts not associated with the corresponding NIH grant or any other external funding agency grant.
  • Reinstate the animals to an appropriate approved protocol when available. Animals remaining at the end of sixty (60) days will be euthanized unless other arrangements have been made and approved by the IACUC.
  • All correspondence related to the procedures above is filed with the IACUC.

Animal Care Details:
Animal Care must be notified of any significant pre-existing health conditions prior to the transfer of animals to the holding protocol. Examples of important information include but are not limited to:

  • Existing surgical implants
  • Zoonotic disease
  • Special dietary needs
  • Past surgical history
  • Viral vectors
  • Poor fecundity.

Management of Animals: (limits to permitted activities):

  • No experimental procedures are allowed on animals maintained under the Animal Care Holding Protocol; however, the IACUC will take under consideration requests to maintain the experimental viability of the animals.
  • Breeding may be performed to maintain viability of specific, noncommercially obtainable animals under this protocol. Such activity must be approved by the Chair of the IACUC or the Director of Animal Care or the Director of Research Protection. Expansion colony breeding is not authorized.
  • Feeding and sanitation will be performed as expected for the species.
  • Standard institutional environmental enrichment will be provided to all animals under this protocol.

Per diems for animals under the holding protocol will be charged to the PI (or Department) while their animals are covered by the protocol.

Print Policy and Animal Care Holding Protocol Request Form Below