Approved by Animal Institute Committee: 5/16/01
Investigators providing non-standard or treated (“special”) food or water to experimental animals as part of their approved animal use protocol are responsible for ensuring that animals have access to food and water at all times, or at specific times described in the protocol. It is the responsibility of the investigator to make one of the following arrangements:
- The investigator or his/her designee must check animals daily, including weekends and holidays, to ensure that they have sufficient food and water to last until the next daily check. This is the preferred method if the regimen is more complex than simple free-choice feeding.
- OR -
- The investigator must leave a clearly labeled container of the special food or water in the animal room, and make prior specific arrangements with Institute for Animal Studies (IAS) staff to replace the animals’ food/water from this container if needed. If requested to do so, IAS staff will notify the investigator when the stock supply in the room is getting low. Because the IAS staffing varies from day to day, it is recommended that investigators not use this option if the feeding regimen is complex, to prevent variation or errors in feeding.
It is the investigator’s responsibility to ensure that all stock containers are appropriately labeled, including the milling and/or expiration date, and that the contents are not past their expiration date.
Each cage of animals given special food or water must be clearly labeled by the investigator to alert the IASstaff not to give regular food / water to the cage. Preprinted tape, provided by IAS, should be placed on the cage card, and may also be placed in a conspicuous location on the water bottle and/or across the food hopper. Tinting treated water with non-toxic food coloring is also recommended to help prevent inadvertent errors. The investigator must promptly remove any such labeling when the animals are returned to regular food/water.
If at any time IASstaff finds animals without access to food or water (except as part of an approved protocol with appropriate labels in place), and/or if no replacement stock is available, the IAS employee will immediately give the animals standard feed and/or water. The investigator will be notified of the substitution only if a prior request has been made to do so.