used. If traps are used, methods should be humane; traps used to catch pests alive require frequent observation and humane euthanasia after capture.
Animals should be cared for by qualified personnel every day, including weekends and holidays, both to safeguard their well-being and to satisfy research requirements. Emergency veterinary care should be available after work hours, on weekends, and on holidays.
In the event of an emergency, institutional security personnel and fire or police officials should be able to reach people responsible for the animals. That can be enhanced by prominently posting emergency procedures, names, or telephone numbers in animal facilities or by placing them in the security department or telephone center. Emergency procedures for handling special facilities or operations should be prominently posted.
A disaster plan that takes into account both personnel and animals should be prepared as part of the overall safety plan for the animal facility. The colony manager or veterinarian, responsible for the animals should be a member of the appropriate safety committee at the institution. He or she should be an "official responder" within the institution and should participate in the response to a disaster (Casper 1991).
Means of animal identification include room, rack, pen, stall, and cage cards with written or bar-coded information; collars, bands, plates, and tabs; colored stains; ear notches and tags; tattoos; subcutaneous transponders; and freeze brands. Toe-clipping, as a method of identification of small rodents, should be used only when no other individual identification method is feasible and should be performed only on altricial neonates. Identification cards should include the source of the animal, the strain or stock, names and locations of the responsible investigators, pertinent dates, and protocol number, when applicable. Animal records are useful and can vary in type, ranging from limited information on identification cards to detailed computerized records for individual animals.
Clinical records for individual animals can also be valuable, especially for dogs, cats, nonhuman primates, and farm animals. They should include pertinent clinical and diagnostic information, date of inoculations, history of surgical procedures and postoperative care, and information on experimental use. Basic demographic information and clinical histories enhance the value of individual animals for both breeding and research and should be readily accessible to investigators, veterinary staff, and animal care staff. Records of rearing histories, mat-