Use of the ULAR Holding Protocol


Federal regulations require the IACUC to review and approve all activities involving the use of live vertebrate animals; all animals intended for use in research, testing, and teaching or for related purposes must be housed under an active and approved IACUC protocol at all times. 

Occasionally, situations occur where protocols become inactive (e.g., expiration, suspension), but animals remain in the vivarium.  In order to avoid euthanasia of valuable research animals, and to remain in compliance with regulatory requirements, the IACUC allows ULAR to transfer animals to the so-called Holding Protocol for a maximum of 60 days.  During this time, investigators must take the necessary actions to gain re-approval of their animal use protocol in order to avoid forfeiture of their animals.

The IACUC will consider other circumstances for the housing animals on the Holding Protocol on a case-by-case basis (e.g., transfer of new UCI faculty from other institutions). Requests to use the Holding Protocol must be reviewed by ULAR and routed to the IACUC for final approval. 

Conditions of the Holding Protocol

While animals are housed on the Holding Protocol, the following conditions apply:

Housing Only

The use of the Holding Protocol is limited to animal housing. No experimental manipulations, collection of data or harvest of tissue are allowed.

Restricted Access

Animals housed under the ULAR Holding Protocol are completely off limits to investigators. The IACUC notifies the Lead Researcher and all research personnel on the protocol (via e-mail) when animals are transferred to the Holding Protocol. Any use of animals housed under the Holding Protocol will be treated as serious regulatory non-compliance.

Cage Labeling

Animal cage cards are clearly marked with the ULAR Holding Protocol number, and a Holding Protocol sign is posted on the housing room door. When feasible, animals may be moved to a secured housing area.

Husbandry and Animal Care

Per diem charges for animals on the Holding Protocol are the responsibility of the investigator. ULAR will assume responsibility for the animals and will provide routine husbandry and veterinary care as needed. NOTE:  Federal funds (e.g. NIH grant funds) may not be used to pay for costs associated with animal research in the absence of an approved IACUC protocol.

Standard veterinary treatment will be provided as needed and/or euthanasia will be performed by and at the discretion of ULAR staff.


When protocols are reinstated or approved, ULAR will be notified to transfer animals from the Holding Protocol to the approved protocol.

60 Day Limit

Animals remaining at the end of sixty days will be euthanized or transferred by ULAR to another approved protocol unless an extension is granted by the IACUC.

For more information, contact a ULAR veterinarian at (949) 824-7788.

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