Holding animals not covered by an active Animal Care and Use Protocol


All vertebrate animals housed at UW-La Crosse must be covered by an approved IACUC protocol. The IACUC cannot permit activities such as breeding, teaching, experimental manipulations, or euthanasia to be performed with vertebrate animals that do not come under an IACUC approved protocol - this is mandated by the Public Health Service Policy on the Humane Care and Use of Laboratory Animals (PHS Policy) and the USDA Animal Welfare Regulations. Violations are reportable by the Institutional Official to the Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare at NIH.


Circumstances may arise in which animals held for a study are not covered by an IACUC approved protocol. In order to avoid euthanasia of such animals, and to remain in compliance with regulatory requirements, the IACUC allows transfer of such animals to the Animal Holding Protocol. Use of the Holding Protocol is intended to be temporary. Situations which might be covered under this protocol include:

  • Animals originating from inactive (or terminated) protocols.
  • Animals on a protocol under investigation for potential issues of noncompliance where the welfare or well-being of the animals is in question and after IACUC suspension of an activity.
  • Animals ordered without an approved protocol. Typically the Animal Care and Use Program Manager, who is responsible for ordering all animals, will require IACUC approval prior to placing an order. However under extenuating circumstances the IACUC may approve an order during the protocol review process if a) the investigator requests it and b) has internal funding to cover the purchase and costs prior to protocol approval. It is understood that the investigator may not use the animal(s) for any purpose until his/her protocol is approved.
  • Ground squirrels that are born or wild-caught prior to protocol approval due to the narrow time frame for squirrel acquisition. 

Principal Investigators (PIs) and/or their laboratory personnel cannot, under any circumstances, access animals housed under the Holding Protocol. No experimental or teaching procedures are permitted. If an approved research protocol expires and animals are held under a holding protocol under which no research work is done, then reporting to the Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare (OLAW) is not required. Use of the holding protocol, though permissible, is intended to be a temporary measure and should be viewed as an emergency stopgap. 


Continuation of animal activities in the absence of valid approval is a serious violation of the PHS Policy and must be reported to OLAW and the funding agency. 

Any animal housing related charges will continue to be the responsibility of the Principal Investigator but may not be charged to an external funding agency grant. 

Standard husbandry and veterinary care for animals will be maintained under the holding protocol. 



  • The PI completes the Holding Protocol Request Form providing the details requested, and takes the necessary actions to gain approval of the animal care and use protocol. Failure to gain approval will result in permanent forfeiture of the animals. 
  • The form is submitted electronically to the IACUC Office (IACUC@uwlax.edu).
  • The IACUC Chair, the Attending Veterinarian or the IACUC Administrator can authorize the transfer of animals from an active protocol to the holding protocol. All actions will be reported to the IACUC at the next regularly scheduled meeting.
  • Animals transferred to a Holding Protocol will be identified with a bright pink cage card.

Policy Adoption Date: 02/11/2014

Amended: 04/08/2014

Reference minutes: 02/11/2014, 04/08/2014