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Animal Care Per Diem Rates

Recovering Costs for Unsubsidized Animal Care

Historically, the University has subsidized total costs of employee salaries and benefits directly associated with the Animal Care Facility and has contributed to cover more than 50% of the total expenses of the Facility.  This University subsidy has eased financial burden on researchers by allowing the animal care per diem costs to remain low, even when compared to similar institutions.

The Animal Care Facility is obligated to recover the unsubsidized costs associated with the procurement, care and support of animals used in research or teaching at the University.  To recover these costs, the ACF has established per diem rates.  Per diem charges are the charges based on units of animal care service provided and are tallied by the number of days of service. Units of animal care service are accounted for by individual animal, such as a rat, mouse, rabbit, etc.

Per diem charges include: daily observation and husbandry of every animal, veterinary care, health surveillance program, water and one or two feedings per day of a standard ration, general ACF supplies, facility maintenance, and appropriate sanitation of rooms and cages according to the Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals and ACF SOPs.  The rate does not cover special diet or special caging not already available in the daily operation of the ACF.  Investigators are billed on a quarterly basis for animal care per diem expenses. 

The ACF per diem rates are determined using detailed cost accounting and a survey of the per diem rates charged by many other universities.  Per diem charges for species and/or housing systems for which the ACF has no recent cost experience are initially estimated based on similar species/housing or estimates from other institutions that have applicable experience. 

Per diem rates are reviewed annually.  Changes in populations, cost of husbandry supplies, maintenance fees, new regulatory requirements or other factors may result in increases.  Investigators should plan and budget for a 5% - 10% increase annually.


Cost Center Daily Rate Per Animal
Mice $0.12
Rats $0.39
Rabbits $0.95
Avian $0.30
Aquatic (< 20 gallons) $0.40 (Per Tank)
Aquatic ( > 20 gallons) $1.94 (Per Tank)
Frogs $0.05
Salamanders $0.05
Reptiles $0.39
Guinea Pigs $0.67
Hamsters $0.67
Mouse from Breeding Colony $1.50 (flat rate)
Rat from Breeding Colony $7.50 (flat rate)

PI-Managed Breeding Colonies: Animal Care Rates and Fees

Principal investigators may establish a breeding colony after submission of a protocol application and approval by the IACUC.  Once approved, the PI will provide oversight of the protocol including responsibility for the welfare of the animals, proper recordkeeping, and reporting of animal usage to the IACUC.  The University has established the following rate and fee schedule for PI-Managed Breeding Colonies:

  • PIs will obtain approval for and establish a breeding colony, with assistance from ACF Manager/Veterinarian as necessary.
  • PIs will maintain accurate recordkeeping and animal census records of the breeding colony.
  • PIs will record the date (on a dedicated log sheet) when an animal is transferred from the breeding protocol to an active research protocol.
  • Upon transfer, PIs will update/change the animal cage cards to reflect the new protocol number.
  • PIs will report these transfers/recordkeeping to the ACF Manager upon request, to correctly calculate PI’s per diem charges.
  • At the time of transfer, an initial fee will be assessed of:  $7.50 for (1) rat, and $1.50 for (1) mouse.  This initial fee helps cover housing and husbandry costs incurred before the time of transfer.
  • Following the transfer from the breeding colony, the animal(s) will begin to accrue daily per diem charges at the regular rates (consult chart above).  Census records will be kept as usual by ACF Staff.
  • The transfer fees + daily per diem charges will be billed together on the normal per diem billing schedule.
PIs will be responsible for reporting animal use numbers on a continuing basis to the IACUC, via the annual report.