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Animal Import & Export

Prior to initiating the ordering or procurement of animals, the investigator shall have a protocol approved by the IACUC stipulating the use of the animals. For more information, see IACUC's page here. All procurement must be approved by DLAR BEFORE animals can be procured. Investigators will submit a completed CAPS Form to DLAR. A return email will be sent to confirm submission and approval. These guidelines apply to all animals used in research or teaching.

DLAR will approve the request for animal quantity, species, strain and holding location based on information in the investigator's protocol. Facility manager will be notified for their input prior to ordering to guarantee available housing space and resources.

Wild-caught animals: the investigator shall have a protocol approved by the IACUC prior to wild animal capture or manipulation. For wild-caught animals that will be housed in a UMD facility or for wild-caught animals that will be euthanized upon capture, a CAPS form will be sent to DLAR as soon as possible after capture.

Importing Animals

From Approved Commercial Vendors: Below is a list of approved sources for mice, rats, Peromyscus, guinea pigs, ferrets and swine.

  1. Jackson Labs
  2. Charles River
  3. Taconic Farms
  4. Envigo (formerly Harlan)
  5. Peromyscus Genetic Stock Center
  6. NCI Animal Production in Kingston, New York (CRL)
  7. Marshall Biomedical Farms (ferrets)
  8. Sigmovir Biosystems, Inc. (SBI) (cotton rats)
  9. Archer Farms, Inc. (swine)

Unapproved Sources

If the Investigator is ordering rodents that are not from the approved sources above, then the import needs to be approved by the Clinical or Attending Veterinarian.
​ Investigators must inform the import/ export coordinator that they wish to receive animals from another institution in the Unapproved Vendor section of the CAPS form, please indicate the following.

  1. Name of the exporting institution
  2. Name of exporting Investigator
  3. Veterinarian’s name and contact information, or
  4. Facility manager, or export officer’s contact information.

DLAR requires 12 months of animal health testing results from the exporting institution and a description of the institution’s Sentinel program. Only a veterinarian can approve the import. Once approved, the animal import/export coordinator will make arrangements with the exporting institution to receive the import. UMD PIs can request for UMD van pick-up at cheaper rate compared to other animal couriers if the institution is local, see Animal Transport Vehicle for details.

Please be aware that the university requires that all materials received into the institution have a fully executed Material Transfer Agreement (MTA) on file. For more information, see MTA.


Animals received from vendors or institutions that are NOT on our approved vendor list must undergo a quarantine period of at least 2-4 weeks based on heath history and veterinarian discretion. During this time animals will be tested based on their health history at the previous institution. Animals housed in quarantine for more than 3 months will require sentinel animals.

Transferring Animals

Protocol-to-protocol of the same PI: If an investigator wants to remove an animal from one protocol to another protocol. Please submit an Animal Transfer Form indicating this change. If an investigator wants to transfer animals from their protocol to another UMD investigator's protocol they would still fill out an Animal Transfer Form but signatures are required from both investigators.

Exporting Animals

Within the United States: Investigators should complete sections 1-3 of the Animal Export Form before submitting it to Note: Section 2 will require contact information from the receiving institution and section 3 will require animal information:

The animal import/export coordinator will send health surveillance test results and a description of the sentinel program along with other documents requested by the institution. If the animals are approved, DLAR will make the travel arrangements. Investigator or research staff is required to identify the animals being shipped.

International Exports: An international export starts the same way as a national export, see instructions above. The International export process will vary depending on the country receiving the animals. Some exports may require approval from a UMD veterinarian, USDA veterinarian, and the receiving country. The DLAR Import/Export Coordinator will contact the PI to discuss the process, obtain any additional information that may be required, and keep the PI, DLAR personnel, and relevant University entities informed throughout the process.

How To Identify/Mark Animals for Shipment

If an entire cage of animals is being shipped out, mark that cage card as "ship to ______ ." If only some of the animals from that cage are being shipped then identify those animals by the animal ID (ear tag, ear notch, tattoo, etc). If that animal does not have an individual ID, isolate those animals in their own cage and mark the cage card. After those animals are identified, they will be examined before travel arrangements are made.

Animal Transport Vehicle

DLAR is willing to pick-up or deliver animals to any local institution and airport within a 50-mile radius of campus.

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