Office of Research Guidelines for Gaining and Maintaining Approval for Principal Investigator Maintained Animal Facilities - Office of Research

Guidelines for Gaining and Maintaining Approval for Principal Investigator Maintained Animal Facilities

I Purpose:

This policy outlines the process for gaining and maintaining approval for Principal Investigator (PI) Maintained Facilities and defines the responsibilities and procedures concerning use, care and housing of animals that are maintained by the PI.

II Background:

A PI Maintained Facility is defined as an animal housing facility where vivarium husbandry and animal monitoring are performed solely by the PI and research staff and not overseen or performed by core vivarium staff.

The IACUC highly recommends the use of currently approved dedicated animal facilities within our animal care and use program. Dedicated facilities allow for enhanced communication at all levels, and consistent and high quality animal care. Clearly identified roles and responsibilities, and coordinated allocation of resources and funding are additional advantages of dedicated facilities.

Maintaining animals in areas outside of currently approved, dedicated animal facilities requires significant additional resources from numerous sources, as each animal facility must be maintained in accordance with accreditation standards, oversight agency requirements, and local policies.



III Policy:

If a new location for PI-maintained animal housing is proposed, completion of the PI-Maintained Animal Facility Request Form must be completed and submitted to the IACUC for review and approval as an additional animal facility in our Animal Care and Use Program. Compelling scientific or other justification must be submitted to the committee, with a full explanation as to why other approved facilities could not support the work. Cost and convenience cannot be a considerations for proposing animal care and use in an unapproved facility.

If the initial request is approved, facility SOPs in the campus format and an animal care and use protocol must be submitted for approval by the IACUC.

A Scientist-in-Charge (SIC), typically the PI and a Technician-in-Charge (TIC) must be appointed for the facility and attend quarterly SIC/TIC meetings. Responsibility of these two positions can be found on IACUC policy 18- Scientist-in-Charge and Technician-in-Charge Roles and Responsibilities.

Facility Inspections

Following approval, the facility will be inspected by the IACUC and/or Campus Veterinary Services (CVS) at least quarterly for the first six months.  If there are no issues with the facility, the inspections will take place quarterly for one year and semi-annually thereafter. All animal housing locations are subjected to additional scheduled or unannounced inspections.

At any point in time, the IACUC has the authority to stipulate that Teaching and Research Animal Care Services (TRACS) or other core facility personnel assume responsibility for husbandry and daily care of the animals. The PI will be financially responsible for such care or that the facility must be shut down.

Responsibilities- the following are general considerations for all species. Species-specific requirements can be found in the Attending Veterinarian Standards of Care.

  • Daily Care– All animals must be observed daily for general health and to ensure that their environment is clean and the appropriate amount of food and water are provided.
  • Veterinary Care- routine Veterinary visits will be scheduled monthly, however all sick or moribund animals must be reported to CVS once identified.
  • Daily Logs- Daily log must include at the least the following information and be recorded every day:
    • Health assessment
    • High/low temperatures in the last 24 hours
    • High/low humidity in the last 24 hours
    • Food and water was assessed

* Weekly, monthly, quarterly, biannually and yearly duties must also be documented and performed at a frequency indicated in the Minimum Standards   of Care for the species being housed.

  • Animal Identification- All animals must be properly identified so that the PI and the animal protocol number that they are associated with can be determined.


The following documentation must be present or readily available at the facility at all times:

  • Approved animal protocol(s) with a current expiration date
  • PI-Managed Husbandry Form
  • Training records for all staff listed on the animal protocol(s) and the PI-managed Husbandry Form
  • Daily Log Sheets
  • Monthly Censes
  • Mortality logs
  • Vivarium Hazard Safety Sheet if hazards are being used in the facility
  • Contact information for Campus Veterinary Services
  • How to Report An Animal Concern poster


Transport of animals must be in accordance with the IACUC policy on the Transport of Animals to-and-from Research Laboratories.

Additional Requirements:

  • Sentinels: PI-maintained areas that house rodents are required to participate in the sentinel program. Please refer the Sentinel Program SOP for requirements and ordering information and the Dirty Bedding Exposure Program for instructions on how to properly expose sentinels to pathogens through exposure to colony animal soiled bedding. Only facilities housing rodents are required to participate in the Sentinel Program. In some instances participation in the sentinel program may not be required.
  • Disaster/Contingency Planning: PI’s must complete and submit their Animal Care Emergency Response/Recovery Plan. Please contact the CVS Health Monitoring Coordinator 530-752-7244 for assistance completing the plan. For any questions regarding individual procedures within UC Ready contact Emergency Management and Mission Continuity For information on how to complete the Injury and Illness Prevention Program and Emergency Action Plan contact EH&S 530-752-1493. If the PI-maintained facility is within a dedicated vivarium, then their facility may be incorporated into existing plans which should be addressed with the facility manager.

If there are any questions about PI-maintained animal facilities, please do not hesitate to contact the IACUC office, Campus Veterinary Services (CVS) or the facility manager within your department.

IACUC- 530-752-2364

CVS- 530-752-0514

TRACS- 530-752-1390


Procedure: IACUC-57

Date: November 1, 2018

Enabled by: AWA, Guide

Supersedes:  New