Keeping Animals Safe and Secure During Transport

March 24, 2021

Hands holding mouse with health and shield iconsWhen transporting animals between animal care facilities (either from room to room, building to building, or through a public area), safety, welfare, and security are of the utmost importance.

All methods of transport MUST provide for animal health and welfare—which includes avoiding exposure to potential pathogens, preventing injury, and reducing external stressors such as temperature extremes, odors, and excessive noise.

Arranging Transport Through ULAM

To assist study teams with proper animal transport, the Unit for Laboratory Animal Medicine (ULAM) provides a multitude of facilities, equipment, and services.

With a minimum required 48-hour (two business days) notice for all trips, ULAM Truck Services can:

  • Transfer animals between buildings,
  • Deliver animals received at the ULAM Dock to other facilities across campus, and
  • Pick up animals shipped to the Detroit Metro Airport.

To arrange for transportation services through ULAM, email or call (734) 936-2011 or (734) 936-6163. 

Study Team Transport

Study teams who elect to transport their own animals across campus should, first and foremost, ensure that all individuals in their lab are familiar with the Procedures for Animal Transportation.

This document includes species-specific transport instructions as well as information about transporting animals with experimental hazards, proper donning of Personal Protective Equipment, and ways to minimize environmental stressors to maintain animal health status.

Blue and yellow shield iconWhen transporting animals, individuals must:

  • Follow as direct a route as possible
  • Conduct the transport in a timely manner
  • Avoid temperature extremes—below 40°F (4.4°C) or above 85°F (29.4°C)
  • Use appropriate discretion (e.g., cages are covered, public areas are avoided whenever possible)
  • Ensure that primary enclosures are:
    • Secure for the animal in transport
    • Maintained in a manner that prevents them from tipping or falling, especially on uneven surfaces
    • Handled in a way that minimizes any physical trauma or distress to the animal(s)
    • Made of material(s) that can be sanitized or disinfected to prevent any cross-contamination

Remember, transporting research animals requires heightened attention to detail to ensure the health and safety of the animals as well as all personnel in the areas where the animals must pass.


If you have questions about proper animal transport, please consult with your ULAM Faculty Veterinarian. Specific questions or concerns may also be directed to your facility’s ULAM Husbandry Supervisoryellow lock icon

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