Animal Services

Our animal services support researchers in their work while ensuring necessary processes are followed for billing, protocol compliance, and animal identification.

Animal exports   Animal transfers   Animal identification

Animal exports

To export an animal from Research Animal Resources (RAR), domestically or internationally, you must complete an Animal Export Form and Material Transfer Agreement (MTA).

If you have questions regarding or have not completed a MTA, please contact the Office for Technology Commercialization (OTC).

Important: Note on your MTA application that the Animal Export Coordinator ( should be notified when the MTA is finalized. This will help expedite the export process, as RAR cannot proceed without this notice from the OTC.

RAR completes all shipping paperwork and provides all shipping materials, including health report, courier airbill, shipping and strain labels, shipping container, bedding, gel packs, kibble, enrichment, and all USDA and foreign documents for international exports. RAR Area Supervisors package all animals for export and deliver them to the appropriate area dock for pick up.

The export process takes as little as three weeks, if all paperwork is completed correctly, and up to a couple of months for international exports.

Throughout the process the export coordinator will contact you about your request status, as well as any requests for additional information.


There are three primary types of transfers in RAR:

All transportation and movement of animals within Twin Cities’ campuses require formal authorization from RAR.

There is no charge for animal transfers between RAR-managed areas. However, fees will be assessed if a transfer involves movement to or from a non-RAR managed space, such as the  delivery of animals to a non-RAR animal holding facility.

Animal exports (transfer out) to other institutions require completion of an Export Form to start this process.

Animal moves to a different internal location

This transfer is used when you want RAR to move an animal or box of animals with no other changes, except possibly the per diem rate.  

To help coordinate a transfer, research personnel should identify the animals/cages with yellow transfer cards.  Minimum Notice: 5 business days, otherwise fees will be incurred.

Request to move an animal to a different internal location

Regular transfer

This transfer is used to handle a variety of potential transfers. It includes any number of the following changes or combinations:

  • Principal investigator
  • Protocol
  • Account string
  • Location
  • Contact name/phone
  • Protocol pain class
  • Per diem rate

To help coordinate a transfer, research personnel should identify the animals/cages with yellow transfer cards. Five business days’ notice is required.

Request a regular transfer

Pre-approved transfers

These custom transfer forms are established and pre-authorized by RAR for routine and ongoing transfers.

Once set up, these transfers allow the research group to transfer animals without involving RAR or waiting five business days, as with animal moves or regular transfers.  

These transfers can include principal investigator changes, location moves, protocol changes, or a combination.

Transfers are set up for each unique scenario and specifically written to cover the details. All pre-approved transfer forms are annually reviewed and validated.

To set up a pre-approved transfer form, or determine if one is right for you, contact 612-624-6169.    

Animal identification

RAR provides all required animal identification upon arrival which includes a cage card for all animals. Each cage card includes a unique barcode number, investigator name, protocol number, contact information, animal species, and strain.

Large animal species are also assigned an large animal number. Some large animals may have ear tags. Dogs and cats may have an identification tag, collar, or tattoo.

Special cage monitoring cards: RAR uses colored, printed cards to flag animal cages in need of special monitoring or attention by either the animal care technician or research staff.