Skip to main content
Research Responsibilities and Compliance

Animal Transfer

Transfers Within Ohio State

Animal transfers occurring within The Ohio State University must be submitted in e-protocol allowing 3 business days for processing. All animal movement outside the animal housing location, including transfers, must follow the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) animal-specific transportation policy, Movement of Animals Outside the Animal Housing Location.

Animal Facility Movement of Cages

Once the request has received approvals it will go to the “transportation requested” state if University Laboratory Animal Resources (ULAR) transport was requested. ULAR provides free transport services via a climate-controlled vehicle. Principal investigators (PI) and their staff are strongly encouraged to use this service. Alternatively, principal investigators and their teams may choose to move their own animals. Only after the transfer request indicates it is “complete” in e-protocol, can the animals be moved. Use of a personal vehicle requires IACUC approval.

Additional Testing

Certain animals may require additional testing before being transferred to a more restricted animal housing room. For example, animals to be moved from a barrier or conventional room into a sterile room, at the request of the principal investigator, may undergo additional testing. Testing costs will be billed to the principal investigator and delays in final approval will vary, dependent upon the tests required.

User Guidance Requesting Animal Movement by ULAR

  • Animal movements can be scheduled on either Tuesday or Thursday mornings
  • Requests require 3 business days
  • Complete information must be provided for efficient processing
  • Cages should be clearly marked by the research team for ease in identification
  • Transport Requests
    • In e-Protocol (transfer between ULAR facilities, protocol transfer), select “ULAR transport” to initiate the movement. Transfers done in the e-Protocol system do not require an email.
    • For all other types of animal movement, send an email to the ULAR-Transport-Specialist at
      • Email should include the following information:
      • PI & Protocol
      • Workday (Account) tags:
      • Contact information: (name, email, and cell phone)
      • Current Housing Location: (Facility/Room/Rack/Cage Location)
      • Number of cages to be moved:
      • Desired delivery date/time:
      • Delivery location (ULAR vivarium):
        Do you have access to this vivarium?
        If Yes, animals will be placed in designated location inside the vivarium
        If NO, arrangements must be made to be present at vivarium entrance when delivery occurs.
      • Final Destination if not the ULAR Vivarium (must be approved location in animal use protocol if outside ULAR)
  • Special accommodations (deliveries outside transfer windows, directly to lab, and last-minute requests) when able to be accommodated, will accrue a delivery service fee.

Protocol to Protocol Transfers

When animals need to move from one protocol to another, use the transfer animals request in e-Protocol. This request must be completed for all protocol to protocol transfers regardless of  whether the animal’s physical space has changed. It is important that the cage card information be updated as described in the user guideline e-Protocol Animal Transfers following completion of the transfer.

Animal Export to Another Institution

Animals that are being transferred to a location not associated with Ohio State are considered exports. Ohio State exports approximately 100 groups of rodents annually, both internationally and domestically. The University Laboratory Animal Resources (ULAR) veterinarians are required to certify the health and welfare of all shipments of rodents leaving Ohio State. These guidelines have been developed to ensure the safety and welfare of rodents exported from Ohio State to other institutions to maintain the specific requirements for food and water during transport, the need for certification of appropriate temperatures for shipping, and the difficulty in visualizing small rodents during shipment.

Contact the following with questions.


Import-Export Coordinator

Clinical Veterinarian

Carrie Freed

Senior Laboratory Animal Health Technician

Angie Summers


Rodent Export Request

  • For all inter-institutional rodent shipments, complete the rodent export request to export cages. Requests must be received at least 10 business days in advance of the desired shipping date in order to ensure careful coordination with the receiving institution for approval and safe travel.  

  • Separate breeders and consider planned weaning dates as near-term pregnant dams and pups less than 15 days of age cannot be shipped due to welfare concerns.

  • Cages being shipped must be marked with the receiving institution so they are easily identified with a label or any securely posted method.

    • Cages cards with strain details must be available to ship with the mice. The orange RFID cages are removed and checked out at the time of packing.

    • Researchers leaving the institution should make arrangements before they leave or designate a contact that will be on campus to collect needed information.

  • Following receipt of a request, the import-export coordinator will:

    • Send a health report and any other requested documents to the receiving institution. 

    • Send the Ohio State research team a request for specific cage details as needed (locations +/-  strain information).

    • Verify cage details in the request (acetates may be added to help ensure that cages do not change location once the rodent export request has been submitted).

Health Report Approval

  • The research team will be notified if the mice are not accepted by the receiving institution or when additional testing is required, 

    • PI approval is required as additional testing costs are charged to the Ohio State PI's Workday tags.

  • Once shipping has been approved by the receiving institution, the import-export coordinator will make arrangements with the courier, providing final confirmation to the receiving institution.

Shipment Timing and Packaging

  • The ULAR QA team will pack animals, as caged, into sanitized transport crates containing food and a water source, utilizing barrier techniques in a class II biosafety cabinet.
  • Shipments may be delayed or canceled due to weather and temperature variations from the origin of the shipment to the destination. Airlines and couriers will not ship animals when the ambient temperature is predicted to be outside the range provided by the Animal Transportation Association (ATA) airline requirements.
  • International shipments may require additional time depending on the requirements of the receiving institution's country. 

Shipment Payments

  • Typically, the receiving institution pays for the shipping by providing a courier and account number.

  • Alternatively,

    • Ohio State's preferred courier can be used (ULAR has a PO in place with VDS) with charges being billed back to the Workday tags.

    • If any other courier is used, a vendor quote is needed and the PI will be required to submit a PO in Workday.

  • An additional charge is applied to the Workday tags, provided by the PI, in the case of international shipments.