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  • Standard Operating Procedures for Laboratory Assumption of the Feeding and, or Watering of Rodents
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Last Updated 08 April 2016

  1. Purpose

    The Unit for Laboratory Animal Medicine (ULAM) has developed a policy by which the staff of a research laboratory can feed and/or water the rodents used in their research project(s), and thus not use ULAM husbandry for these services.
  2. Responsibility

    1. ULAM Husbandry Personnel
    2. ULAM Investigative Personnel
  3. Definitions

    1. Special Treatment or Procedure Form (SToP): A form that indicates special procedure differing from standard operating procedure (SOP). These are typically placed on the inside of the animal room door. Click on the link for more information: Requests for Special Treatment or Procedure (STOP) Form and Form Completion Instructions.
  4. Procedures

    1. Principal Investigator must sign a copy of the policy, acknowledging that they understand the rules and stipulations related to providing food and water to rodents.
    2. Principal Investigator must complete a SToP Form, which details the changes in feeding and/or watering practice and the rationale supporting those changes.
      1. Principal Investigator or Investigative personnel provides a list of work,cellular, pager and home telephone numbers or email addresses for all possible contact employees on the SToP Form.
      2. Document on the SToP form any special water or diet requirements (and in some cases, what types of food and water cannot be provided).
      3. Location of the water or diet supply is in case of an emergency.
      4. Place a signed copy of the policy in a binder kept in the area supervisor's office.
    3. ULAM husbandry personnel evaluate rodents as documented in the Rodent Husbandry SOP.
    4. If ULAM husbandry personnel find rodents without food or water or are low on food or water and are being cared for by the laboratory staff, as based on a SToP form, do the following:
      1. Check the SToP form for indication of a restriction to food or water.
      2. Investigative personnel must administer food and/or water to animals per SToP form specifications (i.e., restricted or non-restricted diets).
      3. Investigative personnel must check animals daily for presence of food and/or water if food and/or water is restricted. This must be documented on the animal room log.
      4. Investigative personnel administering food and/or water that is not restricted, documentation occurs when food and/or water is given (may be every few days).
      5. If documentation on the room sheet occurred within the past 24 hours, ULAM husbandry personnel do not need to contact the lab, for restricted diets.
      6. If documentation on the room sheet has not occurred within the past 24 hours for restricted diets, proceed with the steps below:
        1. ULAM husbandry personnel contacts the investigative staff.
        2. Charge to laboratories may be associated with multiple calls or emails (see Technical Time Charge Report SOP).
        3. If the investigative personnel cannot be contacted by 1:30 PM on Mondays-Fridays, or 11:00 AM on Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays, follow these procedures:
          1. Rodents needing water: Provide fresh water before the end of the workday (2:30 PM Mondays-Fridays; or as close to end time as possible (e.g.11:00 am) on Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays)
            1. Locate, identify and provide special water (noted on SToP form) to the animals. If water cannot be located or identified, provide filtered tap water as routinely provided to University animals.
          2. Rodents needing food: Provide food before the end of the workday (2:30 PM Mondays-Fridays; or as close to end time as possible (e.g.11:00 am) on Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays).
            1. Locate, identify and provide the special food (noted on SToP form) to the animals either in the wire bar lid or feed hopper (as appropriate) within the cage. If food cannot be located or identified, provide commercial rodent chow (Lab Diet #5LOD).
          3. Notify investigative personnel if food or water was provided by using a yellow acetate labeled "ULAM (watered or fed) at [time] using [note type of water or food]", placed in the cage card holder in a vertical ("up") position. This acetate is to remain on the cage for 72 hours, at which time ULAM husbandry personnel will remove.
  5. Related Documents

    1. Technical Time Charge Report SOP
    2. Rodent Husbandry SOP
    3. Animal Care Identification and Communication Procedures
  6. Appendices

    1. Appendix A: Memo Lab Assumes Own Feeding-Watering