Animal Transfers

Last date reviewed: May 4, 2017


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 re-use as a reduction strategy..."

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

Policy Procedure

The IACUC may approve the transfer of animals from AUPs involving 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 an 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 post mortem tissue collection.

The intent of transferring animals to other AUPs should be stated in AUPs at the time of submission or addressed later as a "significant change" amendment.  All such requests must be reviewed by the IACUC as per its Animal Use Protocol policy. It is the responsibility of the accepting Principal Investigator to determine whether an IACUC-approved animal transfer is consistent with the scientific goals of his/her project.

  • Consult IACUC Coordinator before making any animal transfers between AUPs
  • Record all animal transfers on designated transfer forms in individual labs or LAR office
  • All animal transfers must be recorded with the IACUC Coordinator