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CCR Animal Resource Program: Guidelines for Importation of Research Animals

DVR and LASP monitor the health status of rodents and rabbits from various commonly used vendors of research animals. These vendors are considered "Approved Sources." Animals from these sources are generally shipped directly to NIH animal facilities for immediate investigator accessibility.

The health status of animals from "Unapproved Sources" must be verified before they can be incorporated into established animal colonies. Most of the rodent/rabbit facilities at the NIH have restrictions on which pathogens are acceptable.

Regulation of the importation of rodents from "Unapproved Sources" is covered by NIH Policy Manual 3043-1, entitled Introduction of Rodents and Rodent Products. Generally, rodents from "Unapproved Sources" must be quarantined and tested for a routine panel of pathogens at either the NIH Animal Center (Poolesville, MD) or at Frederick National Lab.

An application for Permit to Introduce Rodents and Rodent Products (NIH-2369-1) must be completed to acquire rodents from “Unapproved Sources”. This form must be signed by the investigator, the NCI Animal Program Director, and the Facility Veterinarian. All applicable materials need to be provided to the Rodent Import Officer who will sign the form and issue a permit number.

In general, the following information is required on the originating colony:

  • A letter signed by the attending veterinarian at the originating institution that includes a description of the health status of the originating colony and a brief description of their program for monitoring this health status, husbandry practices and research personnel practices regarding animal handling, protective clothing, and facility access restrictions.

  • The most recent results of testing from the source colony. Tests must be from the actual room or cage rack where the animals to be imported are maintained in the originating facility.

Additional information is available at:

Division of Veterinary Resources (DVR)

Laboratory Animal Sciences Program (LASP)


Back to Animal Resource Program Main Page

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