Animal Fasting Communication

Unit for Laboratory Animal Medicine
Oct 17, 2016 12:00 am

To delineate communications procedures and responsibilities of investigative personnel and ULAM husbandry personnel to coordinate animal fasting periods.

  • Responsibility

    1. Investigative Personnel: Responsible for placing cage signage to communicate the fasting period and for removing and replacing feed.
    2. Husbandry Personnel: Responsible to ensure animals are not provided with feed during the delineated fasting period.
  • Glossary Definitions

    Do Not Feed (DNF) Label

    Pre-printed orange or white label found in the ULAM supply box in animal areas.

    Special Treatment or Procedure (SToP) Form

    A form that indicates special procedure differing from standard operating procedure (SOP). These are typically placed on the inside of the animal room door. See Request for Special Treatment or Procedure (SToP) Form for more information.

  • Procedures

    1. Investigative Personnel Assume Responsibility for Removing & Replacing Feed for Fasting Intervals

    1. ​Fasting interval must be described in the IACUC-approved animal use protocol.
    2. Consult the area supervisor to review procedural expectations if clarity is needed.
    3. Complete a Special Treatment or Procedures (SToP) Form if animals have food and/or water restrictions.

    2. Communication of Fasting Between Investigative & Husbandry Personnel

    1. Communication of a fasting interval for a specific cage occurs via either DNF label placed on a yellow acetate or cage signage containing the following information:
      1. Remove food, with time, including AM or PM and date.
      2. Feed after with time, including AM or PM and date
      3. Laboratory contact and phone number and/or email address.
    2. Investigative staff must properly document all of the necessary information on the cage signage to ensure fasting is properly completed.
      1. ULAM husbandry staff will consult the area supervisor if an animal cage is found without food and a DNF acetate or cage signage is not completed correctly.

    3. Removal & Replacement of Feed

    1. Investigative personnel are responsible for removing feed from the cage at the beginning of the fasting period.
      1. Fasting of a single animal in a social/group housing scenario:
        1. If the fasting period is restricted to less than 16 hours, all animals in the group can be fasted in order to maintain social housing during the fasting period.
        2. If the fasting period is greater than 16 hours, the animal requiring fasting must be separated from the group for the fasting period by the investigative personnel.
    2. Investigative personnel are responsible for removing the cage signage and replacing feed for the cage at the end of the fasting period.
      1. Group housed animals not being fasted should be provided with feed by investigative personnel whenever fasted animal is removed from the group for a procedure.
        1. For large animals, when this feed ration is provided, investigative personnel must initial on the daily room log.
    3. ULAM staff feeding
      1. ULAM will not feed animals in the cage until the fasting interval, as listed on cage signage, has completed.
      2. ULAM will resume normal feeding regimen when the fasting interval has ended.
Topic: Husbandry

Questions or concerns about the content of this document should be directed to the Unit for Laboratory Animal Medicine (ULAM) at (734) 764-0277 or