Research Animal Transport
During the most recent 15 year period, there has been a surge in the field of biomedical research with Congress increasing funding for the National Institute of Health (NIH) from $13 billion annually to more than $27 billion. The growth in research field has compelled an increase in the use of animal subjects in order to complete studies. The animals used in these studies often represent a significant investment of finances, time and of irreplaceable research results. As such, extensive care must be taken with the animals. In the completion of studies, quite often transportation of laboratory animals is required, both to the study site and often to a secondary destination. Planning and executing a shipment of laboratory animals is a detailed process with many variables at play, including following health regulations, animal quarantine, preparation of paperwork, along with applying for import and export permits for internal shipments. Not only must the animals be handled with care to preserve their health for study purposes, the humane transportation of research animals is also of concern which must be of paramount importance. With the increasing number of laboratory animals being transported, the diminishing number of and rapid availability of lab animal transportation services are causing a negative impact on the movement of lab animals.
There are three phases involved in the transportation of animals: pre-trip, intermodal, and post-trip. Planning and coordination occur during the pre-trip phase; at this time the necessary paperwork is prepared along with determining the type of transport to be used and documenting the entire trip agenda. The pre-trip period is the most intense phase due to the level of planning involved to ensure a successful transport. The focus of the intermodal phase is to keep the stress of the animals as low as possible. Adequate planning should have been done to plan for feed and water...