The Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals[1] states, "Animals should be cared for by qualified personnel every day, including weekends and holidays, both to safeguard their well-being and to satisfy research requirements." The Guide[2] also notes that “All animals should be observed for signs of illness, injury, or abnormal behavior by a person trained to recognize such signs. As a rule, such observations should occur at least daily, but more frequent observations may be required, such as during postoperative recovery, when animals are ill or have a physical deficit, or when animals are approaching a study endpoint.”

For animals housed in DLAM or Radiation Oncology facilities, routine daily monitoring by facility staff is generally sufficient to ensure animal well-being. However, research staff may also be required to perform additional monitoring of animals when more frequent or specialized monitoring is called for, as noted above. Such increased monitoring requirements will be documented in the ARC protocol. In addition, investigators are responsible for using color-coded special instruction cage cards, which are available in each animal room or by contacting DLAM staff, to document treatments and food/water management in order to convey critical animal welfare information to facility staff.

Animals housed outside of DLAM and Radiation Oncology facilities must be monitored daily by the Principal Investigator and/or his/her staff, unless the investigator has made arrangements with DLAM staff for daily monitoring; such arrangements must be documented in the ARC protocol and recorded on the animal room log.

[1] National Research Council Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals, page 74.
[2] National Research Council Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals, page 112.

Approved 7/9/07; Updated 1/18/11; Revised 12/14/09, 2/8/16, 9/26/16, 7/8/19
Previously: Responsibility for Monitoring Laboratory Animals