Kathryn Heivilin, CPIA, RBP
Senior IACUC Manager
UM Biosafety Officer
Unpacking Live Animals
Last Review Date: May 3, 2018
Properly unpacking shipped animals from shipping containers will reduce the number of unknown and unwanted microorganisms and other vectors/fomites from entering the University of Montana - Missoula animal facilities.
It is the responsibility of all LAR staff and animal users to know the proper, safe and clean method for unpacking animals from shipping containers.
- Shipping containers of live animals arrive at the HSB animal facility, HS009. Shipping
containers must be sprayed with Rescue RTU disinfectant and taken to a designated
unpacking room (HS016, SB033 or SB066).
- Place shipping containers on a cart. Never place the shipping container under the
change station where clean caging is located for transfer of the mice from shipping
container to clean cage.
- Check shipping containers for damage. Damaged containers cannot be accepted
from the shipper.
- Call the AV with questions or concerns regarding the condition of shipping containers.
- Cages, cage cards, and all supplies should be pre-set up in these rooms.
- Disinfect the workspace for unpacking the containers with Rescue RTU disinfectant.
- Wear a lab coat, booties, and two pairs of lab gloves.
- After the shipping container is opened, remove the outer pair of gloves and discard
them into the trash.
- Handle the animals with CLEAN gloves only. If in doubt, put on a new pair of gloves
before handling the animals.
- Place animals in cages using the appropriate directions from the order form.
- Note the general health and body condition of animals. USDA animals require entry
health check (enter information in
- Contact AV with any health problems before moving animal cages out of the
- Water bottles may be filled, but do not put
feedinto hopper until the cages are in
their final destination room.
- If there is more than one transport container, double glove again and follow steps 5-9.
Before moving cages into their final destination room, mist the cages again with
Rescue RTU disinfectant.
- Place the feed in the food hoppers and place cage on the appropriate rack.
- Log the arrival on the daily sheet designated for the room where animals are being
- Call or email investigator regarding the arrival of animals.