Originally Approved: 10/27/1998
Reapproval(s): 4/20/2005; 6/15/2011, 1/18/2012
Long term housing of rodents, especially rats, in suspended cages with wire bottoms increases foot problems such as pododermatitis. In experimental paradigms, rodents have been shown to strongly prefer solid bottom cages with contact bedding to suspended wire cages. Rodents housed at Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University (EINSTEIN) shall be housed in solid-bottomed cages with contact bedding unless the investigator has requested that his/her rodents be housed in wire-bottomed suspended cages. If the investigator has requested suspended cages for a clearly valid experimental reason, such as induction of diabetes mellitus or the need to monitor the daily fecal and urine output of individual animals, rodents will be housed in suspended wire cages. However, rodents developing foot lesions shall either be euthanatized or shall be moved to solid bottomed cages with contact bedding and treated medically. The Director of the Institute for Animal Studies shall evaluate the validity of the need for wire-bottomed cages and if such judgment is disputed the request shall be brought to the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee for a decision.
To complement this policy, a question about the need for wire-bottomed cages shall be inserted into the animal use protocol form to ascertain if rodents need this type of housing and to document the reason it is being requested.