Department of Comparative Medicine

Importing Animals from Outside Institutions

Visit the Animal Export page if you wish to export animals from the University of Washington.


Importing animals from outside institutions require special attention and will take longer to process.

  • Domestic sources take between 2-4 weeks to be processed and approved;
  • Foreign sources take between 2-8 weeks.

However, depending on the health status of the outside institution, imports may take considerably longer to approve. Please ensure all forms and information are complete when the request is submitted to to avoid possible delays.


There are multiple processes working simultaneously to approve import requests:

  • Animal Importing and Main UW Purchasing
  • Center for Commercialization
  • Office of Animal Welfare

These are to ensure that all facets of imports are dealt with legally and in a timely manner. Please be patient as we process your request.

Most Animal Import requests receive prompt approval, if the Health Reports from the outside institution are complete, up-to-date, and indicate no evidence of infection. However, institutions are sometimes under quarantine for an outbreak, and approval must be delayed until they have brought the infection under control.

One of the functions of the Rodent Health Monitoring Program is to work with the institution to resolve such issues.

In rare instances, approval may be denied. This only happens when the outside institution is unable or unwilling to eradicate the infection(s). The investigator will be notified of the rejection, and various options will be explained by the RHMP. Embryo re-derivation is usually the most reliable way to eliminate an infection.

Overview of the Animal Import Process

  1. Animal Import Form is received in AOps with all documents requested on instruction sheet.
  2. The protocol, budget, and housing request are verified.
  3. Paperwork is sent to Rodent Health Monitoring for Veterinary Approval and quarantine assignment.
  4. Request is routed to Animal Husbandry for housing approval
  5. Once the request has been fully approved, the Outside Institution is sent shipment approval by Animal Purchasing. The requestor(s) will be able to view a copy of the PDF in the AOps requisition.
  6. The Outside Institution notifies Animal Purchasing of the confirmed ship and arrival date. The request is updated in AOps with scheduling information.
  7. Animals arrive and are housed in a quarantined room.
  8. When the quarantine period is completed, animals are moved via a transfer request in AOps to their pre-approved final destination by the facility supervisors and DCM van.

Requested Information from the Outside Institution

The outside institution usually requests the below information to export animals. The shipping address and courier account information will be sent to the institution once the import has been approved.

UW Veterinarian
Christina Pettan-Brewer P 206-221-2441

UW Shipping Contact / Import Coordinator
Amy Martinson  P 206-543-0640

Initial Paperwork to Submit

  1. Animal request in AOps ( please see How to Initiate an Animal Order, for Animal Import and NAV orders)
  2. Current Health Status Reports (must not be older than 3 months)

In the majority of cases, all animals will enter quarantine for four to six weeks with medicated feed. The animals will be released from quarantine to their final housing location once all tests for rodent pathogens are negative.

Delays can occur when the sending institution does not have current or complete Health Reports for your desired strains. Health Reports dated within the last three months are required for SPF rodents, and must include Serology and Parasitology. Please contact the sending institution directly for this information.

  1. Price Quote or Invoice

If there will be charges other than shipping costs, then we require a quote or invoice to set up the PO for payment. This is only for non-shipping charges, such as administrative fees. If the lab must pay for the animals, please mark Q1 on the “Vendor Information” page in AOps as “Yes”.

  1. MTA or other legal document (if required)

Some institutions require a legal document to be signed in order to receive animals. These documents might include: Material Transfer Agreement (MTA), Technology Transfer Agreement (TTA), Service Agreement, or a Cross Breeding Agreement. Please contact the UW COMOTION for questions regarding legal documents.

All Items must be submitted at the same time in the AOps requisition. Documents should be uploaded in the “Supporting Documents” section after the “Submit” command is executed.

Health reports and MTAs are no longer permitted to be sent directly to RHMP. You must upload these files directly to the AOps system.

Transports within Seattle: DCM Van

      You may schedule to use the DCM Van for transports from Seattle Based locations after import is approved.

Animal import fees may apply. Please see DCM rates page for current rates linked here.