Animal Transfers

Last Review Date: November 2, 2020


The Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) endorses the principle of the 3 R's of Russell and Burch:  replacement, reduction, and refinement.  According to the NRC Guide, 8th Edition, "Reduction involves strategies for obtaining comparable levels of information from the use of fewer animals or for maximizing the information obtained from a given number of animals without increasing pain or distress..."  However, the Guide also states that "Refinement and reduction goals should be balanced on a case-by-case basis.  Principal investigators are strongly discouraged from advocating animal reuse as a reduction strategy..."

The purpose of this policy is to identify those circumstances whereby animal transfer is in keeping with the principles of the 3 R's and the Guide.  This policy also describes the process by which such transfers are conducted.

Policy Procedure

The IACUC may approve the transfer of animals from AUPs involving a minimal potential for pain/distress, including breeding protocols, animals designated as "extras", or activities deemed to be so minimally invasive that transfer to another activity is considered appropriate use of animal resources.  Further, the AUP to which the animal is proposed to be transferred must also be deemed appropriate, such that the cumulative total for pain/distress potential is fully minimized.  Examples are non-survival surgery and postmortem tissue collection. 

Record all animal transfers on designated transfer sheets which are located at the entry to all animal labs.  Once filled out, deposit the completed transfer sheets to their collection site at the entry to all animal labs.