In order to comply with the USDA Animal Welfare Act Regulations (AWARs) and the PHS Policy on Humane Care and Use of Laboratory Animals (PHS Policy), all ARC protocols must specify and include a rationale for the number of animals that will be used in the study. In order to ensure that the number of animals is limited to that which is necessary to obtain valid results, institutions are expected to establish mechanisms to monitor and document the number of animals acquired and used in ARC-approved activities. However, during its February 2002 site visit, the Association for Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care (AAALAC) International expressed concern that UCLA had no institutional mechanism to track animal usage by investigators as animal acquisition is achieved through multiple administrative routes.
In order to address this concern and ensure UCLA’s compliance with federal requirements and AAALAC recommendations, the ARC has designated the Division of Laboratory Animal Medicine (DLAM) to maintain a centralized database to track the total number of animals approved by the ARC, the number of animals ordered, and the number of animals acquired via transfer from other protocols. Although such a mechanism has been established for tracking the number of animals ordered through the UCLA vivaria, the ARC has been informed that some animals housed at UCLA, such as fish, reptiles, and amphibians, are captured in the wild or obtained through non-traditional vendors such as pet stores. As procurement of animals from these sources is typically not arranged through the centrally managed vivaria and because these animals are normally housed in investigator-maintained study areas, the number of animals used in these studies cannot be accurately monitored and documented.
For investigators who obtain animals through non-traditional sources as described above, the Committee asks that the following information be submitted to DLAM Executive Director and Campus Veterinarian Marcelo Couto (924 Westwood Blvd., Suite 1050, mail code 733646, or via fax to 310-794-0285) immediately upon acquisition of these animals:
- Investigator’s name
- ARC protocol number
- A copy of the sales receipt or import slip, indicating the number of animals purchased or captured (as applicable)
- Animal species
- Vendor/source of animals
The ARC appreciates your assistance and cooperation in this matter. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact the OPRS/ARC staff (310-206-6308 or firstname.lastname@example.org).