Animal Transfer

Transfer of Animals Between Studies

Animals may be transferred from one investigator to another and from one IACUC protocol to another, with the following restrictions:

  • No animal is to be used in more than one major survival surgery on two separate IACUC protocols without prior IACUC approval. Please see UNMC/UNO Policy 3.1.10 Multiple Major Survival Surgery.
  • The protocol to which an animal is transferred must be approved for the use of that particular species/strain, and genotype, where applicable.
  • For purposes of animal tracking, transferred animals will generally be counted as animals used on both IACUC protocols. Some exceptions may apply.
  • For purposes of cost accounting, Comparative Medicine does not transfer purchase costs or other associated costs incurred prior to the date of transfer.

Animal transfer requests must be submitted on-line at: Research Support Systems (RSS) and approved prior to official transfer of the animals.

Please note that RSS will not allow you to submit a transfer request unless you are listed on at least one of the protocols. Once your request has been submitted, it will be reviewed and processed by CM. You will receive an e-mail notification, usually within 24 hours, from CM regarding the status of the animal transfer.

Please refer to the UNMC Intramural Rodent Transfer Policy (below) for information regarding the relocation of animals between UNMC housing rooms and/or animal facilities.  

Animals may be transferred between institutions with appropriate CM and IACUC approval. Please contact CM if you need to ship animals to another institution, or refer to Procurement of Animals from Non- Approved Vendors if you would like to receive animals from another institution (non-approved vendor).

UNMC Intramural Rodent Transfer Policy

Transfer of rodents between animal housing rooms and/or UNMC animal facilities must be authorized by the Attending Veterinarian. The decision to approve transfers will be based upon the current health status of the animals as determined by the sentinel health surveillance program. Comparative Medicine performs sentinel health surveillance for each animal facility on a quarterly basis.

Current health status will be defined as the status of animals within two weeks of receipt of sentinel serology results from the diagnostic laboratory for the animal room and facility of origin. Under this system, transfers are permitted four times a year within a two week period with approval from the Attending Veterinarian. Assessment of current health status is necessary to reduce the risk of spreading pathogens among the animal facilities. Investigators who transfer animals in this manner will not be charged for sentinel testing.

If an investigator must transfer animals outside of the prescribed quarterly surveillance periods, a request should be submitted to Comparative Medicine for additional sentinel animals. These sentinel animals will be assigned to monitor the rodents to be transferred. Sentinel animals will then be exposed to dirty bedding from the rodents of interest for at least four weeks. This is the minimum length of exposure needed to ensure that pathogens, if present, stimulate a detectable antibody response (seroconversion) in the sentinel rodents. Alternatively, cohort animals (littermates, cage mates and/or foster mothers) could be tested. This method is faster since it does not rely on an additional sentinel exposure period but can be cost-prohibitive since each cage to be transferred must be tested (10 cages = approximately $1150.00). Additionally, the amount of serum required to perform the serology panel (CRL Assessment Plus) necessitates cohort euthanasia at the time of testing.

An investigator who requests additional testing for animal transfers conducted outside of the established quarterly surveillance periods will be billed the full cost of shipping and testing serum samples. Comparative Medicine will provide an estimate of the expected charges to the investigator. All animal transfers must be performed within two weeks of receiving test results with approval from the Attending Veterinarian.

Special circumstances may arise where additional sentinel testing is needed before animal transfers can be approved by the Attending Veterinarian. Comparative Medicine will notify the investigator if any additional charges are anticipated.