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    Mouse/Rat Transport To/From Institutions Outside UConn Health


    Transportation of research mice and rats is often necessary to accomplish research goals.  Transporting from one location to another can be stressful to the animals and can increase the potential for disease transmission or injury.  A number of factors must be considered when transporting research laboratory animals that can impact on animal welfare and study parameters.  In addition, animals must be transported in accordance with applicable regulatory laws and guidelines.

    The use of personal vehicles to transport animals is strongly discouraged; whenever possible a University-owned vehicle or commercial carrier should be used to transport animals to minimize stress and reduce the potential exposure to hazards.  However, the UConn Health Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) recognizes that the use of personal vehicles may be the only way to transport animals between institutions, especially between UConn campuses and to nearby locations.  UConn Health is not responsible for any damages to the private vehicle caused by the transport of laboratory animals.  This policy will outline requirements that must be met when using a personal vehicle to transport animals to/from UConn Health.




    1. Transportation by personal vehicle must be described in the IACUC protocol and approved by the IACUC. This should include the destination(s), description of the car, identification of who will be performing the transportation, provision of food and/or water (or gel pack), an emergency plan (e.g., in case of accident, car breaking down, etc.) and a plan for disinfection of the vehicle after the transportation of the animals is completed.
    2. Any transfer or transport of animals from UConn Health requires the Center for Comparative Medicine (CCM) to be notified indicating the number of cages to be transported, animal room, and overnight stay (if applicable).
    3. Only research laboratory mice and rats may be transported by personal vehicle.
    4. Animals that have been treated with hazardous agents (i.e., biological, chemical, radiological) cannot be transported in a personal vehicle.
    5. Transportation must be immediate and direct; personnel cannot make stops during the transportation (e.g., stop for dinner). If a stop is necessary (e.g., restroom), animals should not be visible or left in direct sunlight.
    6. Animals should not be left unattended during transport.
    7. A current health certificate is required to bring animals to the UConn Health vivarium.
    8. If the animal is brought back to CCM, it will be housed in short-term housing or in quarantine for the remainder of its stay at UConn Health.

    Animal Shipping Containers

    1. Containers used when shipping animals must be able to be sanitized, spill proof, prevent waste from falling outside of the container, secure and escape proof, provide adequate ventilation, have a solid floor, and be free of any sharp edges that could harm the animal.
    2. If animal housing cages are used, cage tops should be taped or otherwise secured to the cage; cages should be placed into a secondary containment container.
    3. Whenever possible, CCM recommends the use of transport containers – JAX Boxes (18x16x11) wherein the PI can house up to 10 mice. These transport containers can be purchased from CCM.  In general, JAX transport containers are securely tightened and have provision of clean autoclaved bedding, feed, and hydrogel pack.  If transport is to occur outside of UCH, transport containers MUST be used.
    4. Provision of feed and water during transportation can be problematic because of the potential for spillage. Small rodents lose heat more quickly than larger animals, require more calories per unit of body mass, and become dehydrated more quickly than larger animals.  Animals should be provided food pellets and gel packs during transportation.
    5. Animal containers must be secured into the vehicle via seatbelt, or other similar positive (not stretchable) restraint device (e.g., nylon straps tightened with a ratchet).
    6. Cages should not be stacked one on top of the other as this can decrease air circulation.
    7. Maximum number of cages to be transported is 2-4 cages or 2 JAX transport containers.
    8. Animals must be in the passenger compartment airspace of the vehicle (e.g., not in the trunk)
    9. Container must have an emergency contact name(s) and number(s).

    Personal Vehicles

    1. Animals may not be transported by bus, shuttle bus, plane, or train.
    2. Vehicles must be inspected by the IACUC prior to first use and during the semi-annual facility inspection times if the vehicle is continually used for transport.
    3. Personnel requesting personal vehicle transport must provide a copy of a valid driver’s license and proof of insurance.
    4. Vehicles must have adequately working heating and air conditioning to provide an appropriate ambient temperature for the safe transportation of mice (4-30°C [37-91°F]) and rats (6-33°C [43-93°F]).
    5. Personnel transporting laboratory animals should be the owner of the personal vehicle to be used.

    Personnel Performing Transport

    1. Personnel performing the transportation, other than employees of the Center for Comparative Medicine, must be UConn Health faculty members.
    2. Personnel must have completed training on transportation prior to transporting animals.
    3. A maximum of two (2) individuals can be in the vehicle when transporting research animals. Both must have current animal care and use training through UConn Health.
    4. Non-research personnel may not be in the vehicle when laboratory animals are being transported.
    5. There may be no eating, drinking, or smoking while transporting laboratory animals.
    6. Personnel performing the transportation must have a mobile phone with them during the transportation of animals.


    1. Personnel performing transport of laboratory animals must maintain a log of transport. This long should contain the time animals were placed into the vehicle, the length of time of the trip, the mileage of the trip, and the time animals arrived at the final destination.
    2. Signatures must be acquired at the originating destination and at the final destination. Paperwork should evaluate the condition of the animals prior to the transport and upon arrival at their destination.


    1. The Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals, 8th edition. National Academies Press, 2011.
    2. Guide for the Humane Transportation of Research Animals. National Academies Press, 2006.
    3. Transportation of Laboratory Animals: Proceedings of a Workshop.  ILAR, 2017.


    Effective Dates:              June 2, 2022 through June 30, 2025

    This policy has been approved by a majority vote of the IACUC members.