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Policy Number: 2011-043-v
Policy Title: Campus Transportation of Laboratory Animals
Policy: Any transportation of laboratory animals outside the animal facility must be conducted in an appropriate manner, safe for the animal and the public. All transportation of animals outside an animal facility must be described in an approved protocol. It is the responsibility of the Principal Investigator to ensure there is protocol and facility manager approval prior to moving animals between facilities. The appropriate Animal Care and Use Committee must approve any exemption to this policy, prior to its application.
General considerations:
  • All transportation must be in accordance with Animal Welfare Act regulations, the Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals and facility-specific standard operating procedures
  • Caging used for transport should:
    • limit exposure to allergens, waste products or odors.
    • provide sufficient air for normal respiration.
    • prevent escape of the animal if an accident occurs.
    • be safe for the animal and species-appropriate.
    • be sanitizable or disposable.
    • ideally be the animal’s home cage to limit stress.
  • Live animals should not remain outside of approved housing facilities for more than 12 hours unless specifically approved in the animal protocol.
  • Following transportation, animals should have access to food and water unless restriction is stipulated and approved in the animal use protocol.
Pedestrian transportation between buildings:
  • Small animals (e.g., mice, rats, birds, frogs) may be manually transported from the housing facility to a laboratory in secured caging.
  • Caging must be protected from temperature extremes, sunlight, car lights, or visual observation by use of opaque plastic bags or boxes, opaque fabric, or other opaque covering.
  • To prevent escape of animals or spillage of contents, cages should be secured with nonresidue tape, bungee cords, rubber bands, etc. during transport.
Vehicular transportation:
  • Under no circumstances shall animals be transported by public transportation such as campus or city buses or shuttles.
  • Transportation of animals in non-University owned vehicles must have prior approval, which includes:
    • inclusion of the transportation activity in the ACUC-approved animal protocol.
    • ACUC inspection of the vehicle (applies to USDA covered species only).
  • General criteria for an approved vehicle include:
    • adequate heating/cooling to keep animal ambient temperature between 45-85 degrees F (7-30 degrees C), which may involve preheating or precooling the vehicle used for transport.
    • protection from direct sun.
    • protection from public view.
    • method to contain waste.
    • method to discourage allergens.
    • method to secure caging inside the vehicle (e.g., bungee cords).
  • For additional information, see facility-specific SOPs:
    • Primate Center
    • Biomedical Research Models Support (BRMS)
    • CALS
    • RARC internal
    • Harlow
    If you wish to transport animals in a nondesignated vehicle, such as your personal car, you must first obtain permission. Call (608) 262-1238 or visit
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