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Transporting animals

Policy 2011-043-v Campus Transportation of Laboratory Animals

Policy 2012-045-v Laboratory Housing of Animals

All animal transfers within a facility, between UW-Madison protocols, between facilities, or coming from/going to another institution must be approved in advance by the BRMS/RARC Transfers Office ( to limit the spread of disease and ensure proper documentation of animal numbers, except as noted below:
  • Animals may be moved from animal housing to procedure rooms within the animal facility and returned to housing rooms without prior approval from BRMS or RARC veterinary staff.
  • Animals may be moved to procedure space(s) outside of the vivarium for procedures if approved on your IACUC protocol and returned to vivarium housing rooms without prior approval from BRMS or RARC veterinary staff. Transfer of animals between facilities must be done by facility transport staff or by IACUC and veterinary-approved transport (see Policy 2011-043-v).
    • EXCEPTION: Animals CANNOT be returned to Level 1 facilities. This policy is designed to reduce the risk of introducing rodent pathogens to the animal housing area, as the potential exists for animals or cages to come in contact with rodent pathogens in hallways, laboratories, or imaging facilities. Options for investigators in Level 1 facilities are to a) make use of procedure rooms within the vivarium, b) house animals in designated laboratories (see Policy 2012-045-v) with ACUC approval, or c) use dedicated containment areas.
    • For non-Level 1 facilities, always check with your individual facility (veterinarian and/or facility supervisor) to determine if animals that leave the facility can return to their normal housing room in the facility.


To initiate any transfer, please use the Animal Transfer Form.

Email the completed form to or fax it to 608-265-2661. PLEASE SUBMIT THIS FORM AT LEAST 1 WEEK PRIOR TO YOUR PREFERRED DATE OF TRANSFER. Animal transfers may take up to one week to process. Please plan accordingly for your transfer requests.

SVM Only: For animals coming to SVM facilities or moving from one SVM facility to another, an animal PROCUREMENT FORM must also be filled out and emailed to

For exports, the BRMS/RARC Transfers Office will prepare and send health reports to outside institutions free of charge. In order to initiate your request, complete an Animal Transfer Form, as described above. Once you've received approval to export animals to another institution, contact your area's BRMS supervisor or lead technician to obtain autoclaved shipping containers and your area's Veterinary Technician(s) to obtain gel packs for the shipment. The BRMS/RARC Transfers Office will prepare health certificates for your animals and will arrange for a Veterinarian to sign the paperwork. You/your staff will be responsible for contacting the courier of your choice (e.g., World Courier: 1-800-223-4461 or Validated Delivery Solutions: 1-443-878-5514 /, packing up the animals in shipping containers, and meeting the courier at the scheduled time.

Please note: If you wish to obtain animals, your protocol (Question 9a. – paper form, Species Source question – ARROW) must indicate the source in your protocol (e.g., other UW-Madison rodent colonies or investigators, rodent colonies at other institutions, etc.). It must also address how you will ensure that animals that were previously on another protocol will be suitable for your research (Question 9c. – paper form, Prior Use question – ARROW).

To export animals, your protocol must state in Question 22 (paper form) or the Disposition question (ARROW) that some animals may be transferred to other investigators with RARC veterinary approval. If the answers to these questions in your existing animal protocol are not appropriate to the transfer request you are making, you will need to amend the protocol with new answers to these questions before the request can be approved. Amendments of this type can generally be processed in less than 2 weeks. Contact:

  • Debbie Morris: (608) 262-7109 or –SMPH & SVM
  • Diane Johnson: (608) 265-3989 or – CALS & LSVC

If you need a Material Transfer Agreement or Simple Letter of Agreement for the animals, contact the Research and Sponsored Programs (RSP) for more information: