Policy Number: 2015-057-v
Policy Title: Use of Wire-bottomed Caging to House Laboratory Rodents

Purpose: This policy provides requirements for housing laboratory rodents on wire-bottomed caging in accordance with the ILAR Guide.

POLICY:
Mice – The use of wire-bottom caging for mice requires scientific justification and ACUC approval and should be used for the minimal amount of time necessary to collect experimental data. Wire bottom cages must be equipped with a resting surface unless there is scientific justification for not providing one and this justification has been approved by the ACUC.

Rats – The use of wire-bottom caging for rats up to one year of age requires scientific justification and ACUC approval and should be used for the minimal amount of time necessary to collect experimental data. Wire bottom cages must be equipped with a resting surface (e.g. solid-surface platform, “RatLoft™” or plastic tube) unless there is scientific justification for not providing one and this justification has been approved by the ACUC.

Use of wire bottom cages for rats over 1 year in age with or without a resting surface also requires:

  • Additional scientific justification in the ACUC-approved protocol.
  • A RARC veterinary approved monitoring plan for the rats that will be housed on the wire surface including defined endpoints for when the rat would be removed from the surface.
Reference: Institute for Laboratory Animal Resources (U.S.) 2011. Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals, pp 51-52). Washington, D.C.: The National Academies Press.

Author: Calvin Patten, Janet Welter, RARC Veterinary Staff
ePublication Date: 6/29/2015 (orig.)
History: 6/15/2015; Reviewed, no changes 9/2017