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Animal Purchasing and Transportation

Guidelines regarding research animal purchasing and transport or shipping procedures at Penn State.

Please note: pdf forms listed above may not work correctly in some browsers. If fillable fields in the form do not function, open the form with a different viewer (e.g., Adobe Acrobat).

Procedures for Purchasing or Importing Animals


All purchases or other shipments of (live) animals to be housed in Animal Resource Program (ARP) facilities must be processed through the ARP office. Investigators are not allowed to order animals through their departments using purchase orders. Note: The Animal Care Request Form is a pdf fillable form that can be downloaded to your computer. If your browser does not support fillable forms, please save the file to your computer and open it from there. The completed form should be emailed to the ARP office ( Please contact the ARP at 865-1495 or for more information.

Investigators who want to purchase or import mutant or transgenic animals not listed on their current IACUC protocol must submit a modification form and obtain IACUC approval before ordering/importing such animals. Please see the ORP website for more information.

    Departmental purchasing staff who have questions about purchase orders should contact the ARP office. For example, purchase orders that include any of the following terms may indicate live animals are included in the order:
        • Microinjection
        • Pronuclear injection
        • Transgenic
        • Knock-out or knock-in
        • Targeted mutant
        • KOMP (Knock out mouse project)
    Investigators who want to order animals from approved commercial suppliers must complete and return an Animal Care Request Form to the ARP office. Note: The Animal Care Request Form is a pdf fillable form that can be downloaded to your computer. If your browser does not support fillable forms, please save the file to your computer and open it from there. The completed form should be emailed to the ARP office (


    Order form for the purchase of gnotobiotic mice. Please submit the completed form to the ARP.

    Please remember to allow sufficient time for animals to acclimate to their new surroundings after arrival at Penn State before starting any experimental work.

    Importation of Animals from Other Research Facilities

    Animals obtained from non-approved sources, including importation from other research institutions, require special arrangements for shipping and quarantine procedures made through the ARP veterinary staff.

    Exportation of Animals to Other Research Facilities

    Investigators who wish to export research animals from Penn State to another research facility must complete an Animal Export Request Form and submit it to the ARP.

    Transportation of Laboratory Animals on Campus

    Animals must be transported in containers that provide adequate ventilation, protection from environmental extremes and designed to prevent escape. Examples of suitable containers include commercial pet carriers for rabbits and standard plastic caging with filter tops for rodents.

    Transfer of Animals Between Investigators or Facilities on Campus by ARP Personnel

    Penn State investigators wishing to transfer animals between Penn State animal facilities or to another investigator's approved Penn State IACUC protocol must complete an ARP animal transfer request form prior to movement of the animals. The ARP facilities manager will notify the investigator when approval for the transfer is granted and ARP technicians will move the animals.Transport of animals between ARP animal housing facilities will be performed by ARP personnel using temperature controlled ARP vehicles.

    Investigator Transport of Animals on Campus

    Investigators may transport animals from animal housing facilities to their laboratories and procedure areas located outside ARP managed facilities. Alternatively, investigators may request ARP delivery. The following guidelines apply:

    • Animals should be transported within their home cages unless absolutely necessary.
    • Individual mice being transported to the laboratory for immediate euthanasia may be placed in disposable ventilated transport containers available in the ARP animal facility for such use. No more than one mouse may be placed in each container and mice may not be kept in the containers for longer than one hour.
    • Unfamiliar animals should not be combined in cages or other containers as this is distressful and can lead to fighting and injury.

    When animals are transported outside to another building, cages may be placed within an insulated secondary container such as a cooler with holes drilled in the sides/top to provide ventilation. Animals may be moved in temperature-controlled vehicles or hand carried from the animal facility if within walking distance.

    • Rolling carts should not be used to transport animals outside of buildings.
    • Containers with animals may not be allowed to sit in direct sunlight.

    Transportation within Buildings

    When transporting within enclosed building spaces, cages should be transported in such a manner as to minimize the potential for animal escape and injury (a cart is recommended when two or more cages will be transported by one person).
    Cages transported on rolling carts should be covered while moving through the building to reduce animal stress and the spread of allergenic dust within the building. Cages may be covered with cloth or paper material such as a clean towel or gown.

    Approved Animal Sources

    The following commercial vendors are approved animal suppliers:

    • Charles River
    • Envigo
    • Taconic
    • Jackson Laboratories

    Non-approved Animal Sources

    These include all commercial vendors not listed above and laboratory animal facilities associated with other colleges or universities and private companies. If you are planning to import animals from a non-approved source please go to the Importation of Animals to Penn State from Other Institutions portion of this website.

    Quarantine for Imported Animals

    All laboratory animals arriving on the Penn State University Park campus from non-approved animal sources must undergo a period of quarantine in a protected area of the animal facility. This period allows the animal(s) to recover from the stress of shipment and to be screened for clinical health problems and infection with pathogenic organisms to prevent introduction of disease to the animal facility. The quarantine period will be dependent on the animal species, source and health status.