Transportation and introduction of animals into an unfamiliar vivarium are potentially stressful events and may have a detrimental effect on the animals' general health and wellbeing. Most animals benefit from a period of time for physiological, psychological, and nutritional stabilization to occur. An acclimation period allows animals time to stabilize in a new environment and promotes both animal welfare and reproducible experimental results.
All animals must receive a basic health assessment upon arrival and before any procedures are performed (see recommendations below). To avoid unwanted variations in data and potential complications, all animals should be allowed to acclimate to their new surroundings for a period of time before they undergo any experimental procedures or other manipulations.
|Species||Procedures to be Performed||Acclimation Period|
|Rodents/Non-mammalian vertebrates*||Non-surgical procedures||48 hours required unless immediate use is justified|
|Rodents/Non-mammalian vertebrates*||Surgical - non-survival||48 hours recommended|
|Rodents/Non-mammalian vertebrates*||Surgical - Survival||48 hours required unless immediate use is justified|
|Larger Mammals**||Non-surgical procedures||72 hours required unless immediate use is justified|
|Larger Mammals**||Surgical - non-survival||72 hours recommended|
|Larger Mammals**||Surgical - Survival||72 hours required unless immediate use is justified|
* Includes but is not limited to birds, amphibians and reptiles
** Includes but is not limited to rabbits, cats, swine, sheep and goats
The IACUC may grant exceptions to this policy on a case-by-case basis, following careful consideration of the potential impact of transportation stress on the animals.
- Conour LA, Murray KA, Brown MJ. Preparation of animals for research--issues to consider for rodents and rabbits. ILAR J. 2006;47(4):283-93.
- Obernier JA, Baldwin RL. Establishing an appropriate period of acclimatization following transportation of laboratory animals. ILAR J. 2006;47(4):364-9.