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UCLA will host our triennial AAALAC accreditation site visit this coming Fall. Our last site visit took place in October 2020 and was a hybrid of on-site and virtual efforts. We are hoping for a similar structure to the 2023 site visit, which we have requested to take place in November, but may occur as early as the first week of October, depending on the availability of the assigned site visit team.

While October and November sound far away, it is not too early to start preparing for the visit. The next few months will fly by!

The ARC and DLAM have already begun preparations for the visit, including contacting individual researchers with specific recommendations and requests related to their protocols. Outside of those communications, we ask that ALL researchers take the time to review their protocols now in case modifications are needed to reflect procedures and practices required by the lab.

In looking over your protocol(s), please think about the following:


  • Does the list of individuals reflect all personnel working with animals under your protocol?
  • If anyone has been listed as NOT handling animals, is that designation still accurate?
  • If your protocol includes hazardous agents, are the personnel you assigned to handle rDNA/infectious agents, radioactive materials/animals, and/or lasers listed on your corresponding BUA, RUA, and/or laser safety approval?
  • For those individuals involved in survival surgeries, have you described their relevant experience? If they need training, have you described in detail how that training will be obtained and how proficiency will be verified for your specific surgery?


  • For each procedure, is the list of assigned individuals accurate?
  • Are individuals current on their CITI training and MHQ? Have they completed all other requirements?


  • Are the correct vivaria listed for housing?
  • If you have received ARC approval to house animals in your lab as a study area, is the rationale for housing animals outside of the vivarium included here?
  • If you are housing animals in special chambers (e.g., hypoxia, metabolic), is this information included in the text field for the relevant location(s)?
  • Have you identified all other locations where animals will be used for the procedures listed in the protocol?
  • Are location uses thoroughly identified in the Location Use column so it reflects the procedures listed in the Description field (e.g., Euthanasia, Survival Surgery Area)?
  • Have you completed the reason field for procedures performed in locations outside of the vivarium?
  • If you are performing surgery outside of the DLAM Centralized Facility, confirm that your justification for doing so is still valid and documented in your protocol. If you wish to use a centralized facility, contact DLAM to inquire (see below).


  • Does the response to #4 provide a clear timeline and overview of procedures to be performed?
  • Is there a corresponding procedure under #5 for each procedure mentioned under #4?
  • If the experiment involves multiple survival surgeries, have all three sub-questions been thoroughly addressed?
    • In response to question a, is the order and time interval between each surgical procedure on a single animal, as well as the maximum number of surgeries, clearly described?
    • In question b, is there a clear scientific justification for performing multiple survival surgeries on a single animal?
    • In question c, is the number of animals that will undergo multiple survival surgeries specified?
  • Are all husbandry exceptions identified at the experiment level? Specifically:
    • Single Housing (exception type = Social housing)
    • Withholding or alternate enrichment (exception type = Enrichment)
    • Withholding or restricting food or water (exception type = Food/water)
    • Substances in food, such as a special diet, antibiotics in the water (exception type = Food/water)
    • Weaning of litters beyond 21 days (exception type = Weaning)
  • Have you documented any substances that DLAM should NOT use to treat your animals in the event of a clinical event or emergency?

This email represents just the beginning of our outreach to you about the Fall site visit – keep an eye out for further announcements, checklists, Town Halls, and information of all kinds. Please do not hesitate to contact the ARC administrative team ( or 310-206-6308) or DLAM (Dr. Zahorsky-Reeves, or 310-794-0255) if you have any questions regarding the upcoming site visit, potential modifications to your protocol(s), or to schedule a virtual or in-person pre-site visit meeting with your lab.

Thank you for your dedication to UCLA’s animal care and use program!