Use of the UM Holding Protocol


Provides a mechanism for holding research animals not assigned to current UM protocols.


Protocols must meet all federal regulations. The Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee ( IACUC ) have the responsibility to ensure that all animal use activity meets federal law, Public Health Service policy, and accreditation standards. All animals maintained by The University of Mississippi (UM) must be covered by an active, IACUC-approved protocol. This policy addresses holding animals on a global animal holding protocol.



Researcher – The PI should work with the IACUC to ensure that protocols are active and current for any anticipated or ongoing animal use.

IACUC – The IACUC provides a mechanism for rapid transfer of animals in cases where necessary to protect the wellbeing, welfare, or prevent the waste of the animals.

Attending Veterinarian or Designee – The AV maintains a Holding Protocol to receive and maintain animals that would otherwise be euthanized for lack of an existing active protocol.



Use of the Holding Protocol (HP) is intended to be temporary. Situations which may result in the use of this protocol might include:

  1. Animals ordered without an approved protocol (noncompliance situation).

  2. Animals originating from inactive (or terminated) protocols.

  3. Animals on a protocol under investigation for potential issues of noncompliance where the welfare or wellbeing of the animals is in question.

  4. New investigators without an IACUC-approved protocol having animals that may require immediate housing at UM.

  5. Investigators that are leaving UM and do not have approval for transfer to the new institution.

  6. Animal Care staff is only authorized to transfer animals on a holding protocol to another PI after consultation with the original PI.

  7. Request forms to place animals on the UMHP will be completed by the PI, the IACUC Chair, or the Attending Veterinarian (AV). PIs will submit the form to the AV, the IACUC chair, or the IACUC Executive Committee, any of whom 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.

  8. Fees: Per diems for animals will be charged to the investigator (or department) while animals are on the holding protocol. No animal related costs may be charged to federal funding sources until the three-year renewal is approved by the IACUC.

  9. Management of Animals on the UMHP:

    • No experimental procedures are allowed on animals maintained on the HP. Any use of animals on the HP will be treated as serious regulatory noncompliance.

    • Breeding may be performed to maintain viability of specific lines occurring under this protocol. Expansion colony breeding is not authorized.

    • Feeding, sanitation and environmental enrichment will be performed as expected for the species. Husbandry duties may be performed by the Animal Care staff, the PI or previously approved personnel depending on the circumstances.

    • No tissues may be utilized from animals euthanized without specific IACUC approval.

    • Animals may not be euthanized for research purposes.

    • Other than animals already on the UMHP, no additional animals may be ordered in anticipation of IACUC approval of a new or renewal study.

  10. Animal Care staff must be notified of all significant pre-existing conditions prior to transfer of animals onto the holding protocol. Examples include but are not limited to:

    • Existing surgical implants.

    • Zoonotic disease or other hazard.

    • Special dietary needs.

    • Past surgical history.

    • Viral vectors.

    • Poor fecundity.

    If any of these situations exist for animals on the holding protocol, Animal Care staff may place a surcharge with the Vice Chancellor’s approval.

  11. In the case of an expired protocol, the animals may remain on the HP for no more than one month from the expiration date of the prior protocol unless a renewal protocol is submitted during that month, at which time the animals may remain on the UMHP for a total of two months from the expiration date of the prior protocol.

  12. If holding protocol timelines elapse or if the renewal protocol is not approved, animals on the HP may be transferred or euthanized by the AV or the animal care staff. In the case of wildlife studies, it may not be appropriate to euthanize the animals. In such cases, the investigator may release the animals in accordance with any applicable guidelines and regulations.

  13. Timelines for other situations will be established by the Attending Veterinarian on a case by case basis.