Policy Number: 2017-060-v

Policy Title: Use of Expired Substances in Animals

Purpose: The UW-Madison animal care and use program follows USDA Animal Care Policy #3 regarding the use of expired drugs and medical materials in all vertebrate animals used for research, teaching, and outreach activities:

“The use of expired medical materials (e.g., drugs, fluids, sutures, anesthetics, sedatives, or analgesics during any survival procedure…is not considered acceptable veterinary practice and therefore not consistent with adequate veterinary care as required by the regulations promulgated under the Animal Welfare Act.”


  • Expired drugs, fluids, and medical materials shall not be used for survival procedures on any live vertebrate animals used for research, teaching, or outreach activities, regardless of species.
  • Expired fluids and medical materials such as catheters, sutures, blades, probes, etc. may be used in acute terminal procedures. These items must be labeled “for terminal use only” and physically segregated from in-date materials.
  • Expired anesthetics, analgesics, euthanasia solutions and rescue drugs may never be used on any live vertebrate animal, even if the procedure is terminal.
  • Expired items should be removed from animal use and supply storage areas on or before their expiration date, or labeled “EXPIRED” and physically segregated from in-date materials. The presence of unsegregated and unlabeled items expired items in the same area constitutes noncompliance with this policy.


Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals, 2011, p. 12

USDA Animal Care Policy Manual, Policy 3, issued 3-14-14

Author: J. Welter, M. Hunsley

ePublication Date: 2/3/2017 (orig.); Reviewed, no changes 9/2017