Policy Number: 2013-052-v
Policy Title: Cage Labeling Requirements

POLICY: To ensure effective communication and that animals receive appropriate and timely care, the following information is required on an animal’s cage card:

  • Name of the responsible investigator
  • Current name(s) and contact information for research personnel in case of emergency
  • Approved protocol number

The following additional information is strongly recommended to be included on the cage card:

  • Pertinent dates (date of birth, date of arrival)
  • Source of the animal (e.g., name of commercial vendor or institution, breeding colony)
  • Strain or stock of animal (if known)
  • Any biohazards, toxic substances, or radioactivity the animal has been exposed to (please see the online course “Risk Communication in Animal Facilities

Individual rodent cages must have a card, unless there is an approved protocol exception or as directed by veterinary staff or facility supervisor.

For species that tend to chew or damage cards, keep cards in a nearby location, such as a room logbook, or posted on a door.

For animals lacking a permanent physical identification (i.e. tattoo) and for which the cage cards are not directly placed on their cages, a method must be in place and readily accessible to vets and husbandry staff for linking these animals to their identifying information and records (e.g. room diagram of animal(s) location or a description of individual animals).

Investigators/ animal care units may develop any style of cage card as long as the above information is provided on the card. Card templates are available from RARC.

Unidentified animals will be transferred to an established holding protocol and may be euthanized at the discretion of the senior program veterinarian or designee.

Reference: Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals, 8th ed.

Author: RARC veterinary unit
ePublication Date: 2/22/2013, amended 8/2017