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Policy#: 529-276

Title: ANIMAL CARE / VIVARIA ISSUES: Satellite Housing

Effective: 11/17/2022


I: Background

Federal guidelines and UCR IACUC policy mandate that the IACUC review the care of all vertebrate animals used in research and teaching at UCR. This policy outlines the process for gaining and maintaining approval for Principal Investigator (PI) Maintained Facilities (satellite sites) and defines the responsibilities and procedures concerning the use, care, and housing of animals that are maintained by the PI. A PI-maintained facility is defined as an animal housing facility where vivarium husbandry and animal monitoring are performed by the PI and/or their research staff and not overseen or performed by core vivarium staff. This includes situations where animals are housed in the investigator’s laboratory for more than 24 hours for non-USDA-covered species and more than 12 hours for USDA-covered species. This includes situations where animals are housed in the vivaria and cared for by the investigator.

II: Related Policies and Guidance

·         Policy 529-271: Authority of the Attending Veterinarian

·         Policy 529-272: Ground Transport of Animals by UCR Investigators and Staff

·         Policy 529-280: Vivarium, Laboratory, Room, and Cage/Tank Cards Postings

·         Policy 529-277: Environmental Enrichment

III: Policy

A) Locations for PI-maintained animal housing must be submitted to the IACUC for review and approval as a satellite site. Compelling scientific or other justification along with a full explanation as to why other approved facilities could not support the work must be part of the written request. As a reminder no animal work can occur, nor can animals be housed, in any space that has not been first inspected and approved by the IACUC.

B) In accordance with Policy 529-271: “Authority of the Attending Veterinarian,” the attending veterinarian must be provided a method (i.e., keys, entry codes) to have unrestricted access to animals in the facility.

C) A Standard Operating Procedure (SOP), detailing the care and procedures for the satellite site in accordance with The Guide must be submitted with the AUP or amendment. The IACUC requests the following template be used to describe the husbandry procedures: SOP Template. The SOP must be approved by the IACUC before investigators may care for their animals inside or outside of the vivaria. Once approved, the SOP will be attached to the relevant AUP(s).

The majority of animal research at UC Riverside involves rodents. However, the IACUC recognizes that different species or experimental designs (such as outdoor housing) may require different housing considerations and recommends that the PI consult with the Campus Veterinarian on the appropriate housing method(s) for specific species. Any concerns regarding animal housing will be reviewed by the UCR IACUC. The IACUC may grant exceptions when deemed in the best interest of the animals if the requests for exceptions are justified in the AUP and approved by the IACUC.

D) Facility Inspections

Following approval, the satellite site will be inspected by the IACUC or their designee. 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 the Office of the Campus Veterinarian assumes responsibility for husbandry and daily care of the animals. This decision may be related to non-compliance or the lab’s inability to appropriately justify the need to keep the animals housed outside the vivarium.  If OCV becomes responsible for the daily husbandry and care, the standard current per diem rate for the species will be billed to the PI

E) Facility Requirements

The following are standard housing facility requirements for rodents:

·         24-hour alarm system to alert the PI when temperature or humidity has fallen outside the recommended range and poses a risk to the animals housed.

·         Automatic 12/12 light cycle or another pre-determined light cycle as per research needs.

·         If required, an engineering mechanism for occupational health/safety issues for changing cages (e.g., respirator, cage changing station) as determined by EH&S.

·         Appropriate pest control, whether live traps need to be checked daily or insect traps checked at least weekly. Insect traps must only trap insects and not rodents.

·         Locations meet The Guide standard of 10-15 air exchanges per hour, and room air pressure is negative to the public hall.

The IACUC is aware that some of these requirements cannot be fulfilled due to a variety of reasons (e.g., aging infrastructure, cost, etc.). The investigator is expected to identify locations where these requirements can be met. Exemption from one or more of the requirements will be considered by the IACUC based on the experimental need and animal welfare (e.g., number of animals housed, type of caging, location of satellite facility, etc.).

F) Responsibilities

The following are general considerations for all species.

a) 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 provided.

b) Daily Logs

Daily documentation of animal care (environment and husbandry) is required. A sample animal care log can be requested from  At a minimum, the following information should be included in animal care logs:

·         Daily animal health check

·         Daily assessment of food and water

·         Daily high/low temperatures and humidity in the last 24 hours

·         Frequency of cleaning of the environment, i.e., cage/tank sanitation, sweeping, mopping, cleaning of all vertical and horizontal surfaces, (must for all species)

·         Daily or monthly census

c) 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. See "Policy 529-280: Vivarium, Laboratory, Room, and Cage/Tank Cards Postings” for more information.

G) Documentation

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

·         Approved animal protocol(s) with a current expiration date

·         Training records for all staff listed on the animal protocol(s)

·         Daily Log Sheets, which should include mortality and census

·         Vivarium Hazard Safety Sheet if hazards are being used in the facility

·         Contact information for the Office of the Campus Veterinarian

·         “Reporting Animal Mistreatment or Noncompliance” poster and other posted signage

·         UCR Emergency Response Plan and signature sheet

H) Transportation

Transport of animals must be in accordance with the Policy 529-272: “Ground Transport of Animals by UCR Investigators and Staff.”

I) Sanitation

Housing areas and equipment, such as cages, must be properly sanitized. Description of the sanitation procedures and designation of the responsible party (e.g., OCV service or lab responsibility) is to be included in the housing SOP.

J) Additional Requirements

a) Sentinels: Satellite sites that house rodents may be required to participate in the sentinel program. Please contact the IACUC to find out whether a sentinel program is necessary for your satellite site.

b) Disaster/Contingency Planning:Disaster/Contingency Planning: An animal care emergency response/recovery plan must be in place for all satellite sites. PIs must review the UCR contingency plan on file in the Office of the Campus Veterinarian. In order for the satellite site to be incorporated into the UCR contingency plan, the emergency contact information for the satellite site must be on file with the OCV ?and IACUC. Personnel working with animals in satellite facility must review the Emergency Response Plan on an annual basis and sign indicating their understanding. In case of a disaster, the OCV will coordinate with the satellite site for the response.

If there are any questions about PI-maintained facilities, please do not hesitate to contact the IACUC office, Office of the Campus Veterinarian (OCV) or the facility manager. 

IV: Satellite Facility Approval Process

A.      Incoming faculty, or current faculty that request approval for a Satellite Facility will complete the following steps for approval:

a.       PI will submit AUP, which includes approval of a Satellite Facility.

b.       IACUC will review the submission and confirm an adequate scientific justification is provided in the housing section of the submission.

c.       OCV will review and determine whether the vivarium can accommodate the specific needs identified in the AUP.

d.       If OCV determines that they can accommodate the needs:

                                                i.      PI will be informed in writing that the request has been denied, and protocol submission will be withdrawn (if that is the only requested change).

                                              ii.      A meeting between the PI and OCV will be scheduled to provide the PI with information regarding how the vivarium can accommodate the lab’s needs.

e.       OCV determines that it cannot accommodate the needs of the PI. PI will be informed of the facility and administrative requirements to maintain a satellite facility.

                                                i.      PI will submit a work order with facilities management to determine if the air exchange rate is 10-15/hour. If not, can it be adjusted to meet this requirement?

                                              ii.      Room air pressure will be evaluated to verify it is negative to the adjacent hallway. If not, can it be adjusted?

                                            iii.      Proof of HVAC completion will be provided to the IACUC Office.

                                            iv.      The IACUC may approve the protocol submission of an added Satellite facility.

                                              v.      The PI will schedule a walk-through of the location(s) with the IACUC office. During this walk-through, the PI will be informed of infrastructure or facility-related upgrades needed to house animals.

                                            vi.      Once the walkthrough is completed, the PI can begin making the necessary structural and/or facility-related changes to house animals in the satellite facility.

                                           vii.      Once all updates have been made, the IACUC will schedule an inspection of the location prior to the housing of animals.

                                         viii.      Location will be added to the semiannual inspection process.




1.       The Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals, 8th edition, 2011.


Approved as guidance 529-253 on 6/11/2007; approved as policy 529-276 1/10/2022. Revised 11/17/2022