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Policy: Reporting Morbidity and Mortality in Animals Used in Research (AACUP)

Policy: Reporting Morbidity and Mortality in Animals Used in Research (AACUP)


  • All agricultural animals must be observed at least once daily including weekends and holidays.
  • Trained individuals familiar with normal behavior and health of the species must perform and document the observations.
  • The documentation must be readily available to veterinary staff, AACUP compliance personnel, members of the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC), and regulatory inspectors.
  • Individuals charged with performing animal observations, whether members of the animal husbandry staff or the research team, are responsible for reporting animal health- or welfare-related problems according to established procedures.
  • Unanticipated illnesses and deaths suspected of being associated with research activities must be reported to theattending veterinarian for agricultural animals (AVAA) or the Office of the AACUP at within 24 hours.
  • The AVAA will advise the IACUC of unexpected or unusual morbidity and mortality associated with research activities.


This policy applies to all agricultural animals used in teaching and/or research housed in animal facilities at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.


Federal regulations and professional standards mandate that the U of I establishes and maintains a program of adequate veterinary care for all vertebrate animals used in research and teaching and housed in its animal facilities. The veterinary care program is directed by the U of I institutional veterinarians. For activities that use agricultural animals, the institutional veterinarian is the AVAA in the AACUP.

The veterinary care program includes:

  • A mechanism to ensure communication to the AVAA of timely and accurate information on problems of agricultural animal health, behavior, and well-being;
  • Methods available 365 days of the year to control, prevent, diagnose, and treat diseases and injuries under the direction of the AVAA.

Approved: 8/1/2012

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