Unpacking Live Animals

Last Review Date: May 3, 2018

I. Purpose

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.

II. Responsibility
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.

III. Procedure

  1.   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).
  2.   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.
  3.   Check shipping containers for damage. Damaged containers cannot be accepted
      from the shipper.
  4.   Call the AV with questions or concerns regarding the condition of shipping containers.
  5.   Cages, cage cards, and all supplies should be pre-set up in these rooms.
  6.   Disinfect the workspace for unpacking the containers with Rescue RTU disinfectant.
  7.   Wear a lab coat, booties, and two pairs of lab gloves.
  8.   After the shipping container is opened, remove the outer pair of gloves and discard
      them into the trash.
  9.   Handle the animals with CLEAN gloves only. If in doubt, put on a new pair of gloves
      before handling the animals.
  10.   Place animals in cages using the appropriate directions from the order form.
  11.   Note the general health and body condition of animals.  USDA animals require entry
      health check (enter information in animal-specific notebook).
  12.   Contact AV with any health problems before moving animal cages out of the
      unpacking areas.
  13.   Water bottles may be filled, but do not put feed into hopper until the cages are in
      their final destination room.
  14.   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.
  15.   Place the feed in the food hoppers and place cage on the appropriate rack.
  16.   Log the arrival on the daily sheet designated for the room where animals are being
  17.   Call or email investigator regarding the arrival of animals.