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Safe Animal Transport: What to Know Before You Go

Facilities Safety SOP ULAM

Do Not Forget reminder note

All methods of transport must, first and foremost, provide for animal health and welfare.

This includes, but is not limited to, avoiding exposure to potential pathogens, preventing injury or escape, and reducing environmental stressors (e.g., temperature extremes, odors, and excessive noise).

Before and during ANY animal transport, please remember to: 

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

*Note that different processes and procedures must be followed when transporting animals with experimental hazards. Review the Animals Administered a Hazardous Substance Requiring Containment SOP for additional details. 

Species-specific transport instructions, including information about proper donning of PPE and methods for minimizing environmental stressors, can be found in the Procedures for Animal TransportationAny individual who MAY be responsible for transporting animals on campus should regularly review, and be familiar with, this document.

The Unit for Laboratory Animal Medicine (ULAM) also offers a variety of equipment and services to assist study teams with proper animal transport between buildings, from the ULAM Dock to other campus locations, and for pickup of shipments to the Detroit Metro Airport. 


Questions about proper animal transportation procedures should be directed to your facility’s ULAM Husbandry Supervisorrequires Level-1 U-M login credentials or to your ULAM Faculty Veterinarian.

yellow lock icon denoting level-1 U-M login required for access Links marked with a lock icon can only be accessed using valid U-M login credentials.

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