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Animal Import and Export

How to Import or Export Animals

Importing Animals from Other Institutions

The Laboratory Animal Resource Center (LARC) routinely assists investigators in the importation of animals from other institutions and universities (i.e. non-vendor sources). It is important for the investigator to plan ahead since there are numerous steps that have to be completed by both the sending and receiving institutions. It normally takes a minimum of three weeks, from the time of initial request until the animals are shipped, to fulfill the requirements of the receiving institution and arrange shipment. The steps for importing animals is outlined below:

Request for Importation

  1. The investigator must complete an “ Animal Shipping Request Form ”and email the completed form to the University Veterinarian.
  2. With the information provided by the investigator, LARC staff will contact the veterinarian at the sending institution to request health surveillance information. The health surveillance testing must include 12 months of Health Surveillance reports, a facility description and notice of pathogen outbreaks or endemic pathogens.
  3. Before shipping arrangement can be made, all pertinent health information must be pre-reviewed by the veterinarian and the animals must be approved for shipment. Quarantine space must be located and reserved for housing incoming animals.

Importation of Rodents

  1. The veterinarian will pass the approved Animal Shipping Request form to the shipping coordinator who will contact the sending institution that is responsible for arranging ground and/or air transportation. The investigator will be contacted regarding the anticipated day of arrival of the animals.
  2. All rodents will be shipped in pre-sterilized, filtered shipping boxes.
  3. The shipping coordinator will contact the investigator when the animals arrive.

Quarantine Procedures for Rodents

  1. Healthy rodents approved for shipping will be received and housed in the clean quarantine area of the LSB facility. The average quarantine period is two weeks.
  2. Mice may be treated prophylactically with Fenbendazole® and Mite Arrest®. These medications treat for pinworms and fur mites, respectively.
  3. Within the first week of quarantine (4 days post arrival), animals will be tested for prevalent pathogens using PCR testing methods. Samples will be taken from each individual animal and pooled for a single test.
  4. Test result should be received with 5-7 days. The veterinarian will review the test results. Animals that test negative will be approved and released into the main colony.
  5. If animals show positive test results during the quarantine period, or if the received animals become clinically ill, they will remain in quarantine. Each case will be individually evaluated to determine the most appropriate course of containment and elimination of the pathogen.
  6. Investigators may work not with their animals while they are in quarantine.
  7. Breeding of animals in quarantine is generally NOT allowed. Please check with the LARC veterinarian if breeding of animals during the quarantine period is required.

Special Restrictions
Please be aware that there may be airline travel restrictions due to extremes in weather. The airlines will not accept animals for travel if the ambient temperatures at the shipping and receiving airports are outside their guidelines (usually <45°F or > 80°F.) These restrictions may delay receipt of animals.

Exporting Animals to Other Institutions
LARC routinely assists investigators in the shipping of animals to other institutions. It is important for the investigator to plan ahead since there are numerous steps that have to be completed by both the sending and receiving institutions. It normally takes a minimum of three weeks, from the time of initial request until the animals are shipped, to fulfill the requirements of the receiving institution and arrange shipment. The steps for exporting animals is outlined below:

Request For Exportation

  1. The investigator must complete an “Animal Shipping Request Form”and email the completed form to the University Veterinarian.
  2. With the information provided by the investigator, the LARC veterinarian will contact the veterinarian at the receiving institution to determine what health surveillance information they require.

Export of Rodents

  1. LARC will send the receiving veterinarian the most recent LARC facility health surveillance reports, along with a letter describing the surveillance program, assurance of general health status, facility description and special health related information about the animals, if applicable.
  2. If the receiving institution requests additional tests, or more recent testing results, we will work with the investigator to schedule and collect blood and/or fecal sample collection from their rodent colony. Samples will be sent for diagnostic testing and results will be sent to the receiving institution.
  3. After the receiving veterinarian/veterinary staff reviews all health related information, he/she will contact the LARC veterinarian and approve shipment of animals to the receiving institution.
  4. The LARC shipping coordinator will be contacted to arrange shipment of the animals, as follows:
    • The shipping coordinator will contact the investigator to complete aRodent export form and to properly mark the cages in the animal room for shipment.
    • The LARC shipping coordinator will contact the shipping coordinator of the receiving institution and the shipping carrier to arrange ground or air transportation. The investigator will be contacted regarding the scheduled day of travel.
    • Please note that all rodents are shipped in pre-sterilized, filtered shipping boxes.
    • On the day of shipment, the LARC shipping coordinator will work with the investigator staff to properly box all animals. Boxes will be labeled and all paperwork completed for carrier pick-up by the LARC shipping coordinator.
    • The receiving institution will confirm successfully arrival of the animals with LARC shipping coordinator.