Animal Transfers, Import and Exports

Clinical disease and subclinical infections in laboratory animals can cause experiments to fail, introduce variables, and cause erroneous results.  For these reasons, it is imperative that biosecurity measures be put in place to help control the spread of pathogens through facilities and protect research outcomes.  Therefore, the Attending Veterinarian has put into place strict procedures for the import, export, and transfer of animals at UC Davis.  The Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals 8th edition has specific guidelines with regards to separation of animals of differing health status and overall biosecurity.  Our procedures are modeled after those guidelines.

General Information Regarding the Transfer of Animals

Please follow the link below to log into the Animal Tracking System (ATS) for the following purposes:

  1. Transferring animal(s) from one protocol to another
  2. Transferring animal(s) from one location to another (including moves from one room to another)
  3. Request permission to import or export animals (see additional information below).  An import is the transfer of animals to UC Davis from a non-approved vendor or outside institution. Animals to be transferred to UC Davis from an approved vendor are considered purchases.

ATS System and supporting documents for imports or exports.

Import-Export Form

Please Contact [email protected] with any questions about submitting an import, export, or transfer request; if you have problems or questions about using the ATS; or need further information about imports, exports or animal transfers. Movement into and out of biomedical facilities is processed through the ATS and subject to review by the Import/Export Team as the designee of the Attending Veterinarian.  Neither investigators nor staff may move, receive or send animals without prior approval from the Attending Veterinarian, or appointed designee.

Agricultural Animals and CNPRC Considerations/Exceptions

Agricultural animal facilities are considered to be of similar health status and movement of agricultural animals between these facilities are not processed through the ATS.  Approval authority is delegated to the facility managers.  The CNPRC manages movement of animals internally.

For Animals Imported into UC Davis from Other Institutions

For rodent imports, please make sure that the associated IACUC protocol is approved for importation from outside institutions.  If not, an amendment will need to be submitted through the online IACUC system requesting importation from outside institutions as an approved source of animals on the protocol.  Once an import request has been submitted through the ATS, the following information will be requested by our Import/Export Team from the exporting institution prior to approval:

  1. Health information (serology and parasitology screens) for the rodents and the room/building in which they are currently or have been housed dating back 24 months from the date of the request.
  2. A statement from your veterinarian indicating the current health status of the room/area where the animals are housed.
  3. A description of the housing system in use.
  4. A description of the rodent health monitoring system, i.e. types of sentinels, how they are exposed, and submission schedule.
  5. Because UC Davis does not have a formal quarantine facility, animal specific parasitology (directly obtained from the animals being transported) testing is required for fur mites and pinworms. It is the responsibility of the importing PI to coordinate sample collection and take care of any associated charges.  Charles River Laboratories, the Jackson Laboratories, and the UC Davis Comparative Pathology Laboratory are the preferred testing facilities for sample submission.

Health monitoring for importation of non-rodent species will be assessed on a case-by-case basis.  Please contact [email protected] for more information on non-rodent species.

For imports, the investigator must receive permission from the Import/Export Team via the ATS prior to shipping. Once approved, the investigator must ensure housing is available through communication with the facility manager.  The investigator is also responsible for coordinating the shipment of the animals to the facility.  Animals must be received at an approved animal facility and not shipped to laboratories unless prior authorization has been obtained from the Attending Veterinarian or designee has been obtained.

For Animals Exported from UC Davis to Other Institutions:

For animal exports, please make sure that the associated approved IACUC protocol has exportation as an approved disposition.  If not, an amendment will need to be submitted through the online IACUC system requesting exportation to collaborating institutions as an approved disposition of animals on the protocol.  Once an export request has been submitted through the ATS, our Import/Export Team will work with the receiving institution to ensure all necessary health monitoring information is provided.  Approval of exports will only take place if approval from the importing institution is given in writing.  Once permission to ship has been granted, the investigator must prepare the animals for shipping, call the carrier/courier and physically ship the animals.

Investigators are encouraged to reach out to the UC Davis MTA team at ([email protected]) to clarify if a Material Transfer Agreement is required for the transfer of animals.  It is not uncommon for the MTAs to take several weeks to process and is often the rate limiting step in our exportation process.

For all approved imports and exports, it is the responsibility of the investigator to coordinate all shipping arrangements and associated charges.  It is recommended that investigators reach out to their department’s business office, facility manager, collaborators, and the Import/Export Team for further assistance.