Animal Care and Use

Animal Transfer Form

Animal transfer within Washington University in St. Louis (an intra-institutional transfer) covers transfers of the following types:

  • to a different WashU PI
  • to a different protocol number
  • to another DCM facility (same or different PI/protocol number).

All transfer forms require at least two working days to process. Once approved, DCM may require up to an additional 5 business days to move animals to a new location. All transfers are subject to the standard animal order fee.


  1. Tag cages to be transferred
  2. Complete the transfer form
    1. Write “same” in the fields where the Original PI and New PI match exactly
    2. Indicate whether animals have been used in research other than breeding.
    3. If yes, briefly describe the procedures.
      • Examples:
        1. “Two minor surgical procedures – installation and removal of osmotic pump”
        2. “Animals participated in five weekly imaging studies to visualize injected fluorescent tracers”
        3. “Mice have cranial windows installed but cannot be used for study”
      • If the transfer is a location change only (i.e. the animals will remain under the same PI and Protocol ID), write “Location Change Only.”
      • If the transfer form is for a protocol renewal, write “Renewal.”
      • If the transfer is part of an approved collaboration (core facility or individual), write “collaboration.”
    4. Indicate whether or not the receiving PI wants to have the animals tested for pinworms and mites. If yes, the recipient will pay the associated technical & lab fees (approximately $20/cage).
  1. Return the completed form to the Facility Manager where the animals are currently housed. The Facility Manager will forward the completed form to the applicable DCM veterinary representative.
  2. If animals have previously been utilized in research, DCM will forward the form to IACUC for approval. The receiving PI must have animal re-use approved on the protocol. Breeding, renewals, and collaborations are exempt from this additional review step.
  3. If the transfer is PI to PI, the Facility Manager will forward a copy of the transfer form to the DCM Business Office to enter the transfer information into LARS

Download the Animal Transfer form (XLS).



I will move my own cages rather than have DCM transport them. What do I need to do?
DCM needs to scan the barcodes of the cages that are moving. Coordinate with DCM before moving the cages to ensure they have the necessary data.

Can I wean or split animals into a new cage for immediate transfer?
Yes, if the following conditions are met:

  • Split/wean must be recorded on the split/wean log
  • New cage must have a barcode displayed
  • Cage must be tagged before the transfer form is submitted


If a cage is sent to a Core facility or a different PI for a procedure followed by single housing, how do the new cages get barcodes?
The core or receiving PI should place a blank “Place Sticker Here” card with the PI name and protocol number on each new cage. The sending PI is responsible for completing the split/wean log and adding a barcode sticker to the card once the cages are returned to the original lab.

Once the animals are returned, the original PI must complete the split/wean log to establish a barcode for each cage. Place the barcoded sticker on the “Place Sticker Here” card that was put on the cage by the core/receiving PI.

Will transferred cages get a new barcoded cage card?
If the PI and protocol ID have not changed, a new card will not be printed. The person responsible for moving the cages should line though the location on the cage card to update the information.

If the PI and/or protocol ID has changes, a new card will be printed and placed for you.

Animals Used in Research Question

Why do we have to indicate if animals have participated in research?
The 2011 update to The Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals requires the IACUC to review and approve animal reuse prior to animals participating in additional research projects.

The sending PI must complete this on the transfer form so the form can be routed to IACUC for approval if needed and DCM can enter it into LARS.

Why are breeding, collaborations and 3-year renewals exempt from additional IACUC reuse review?
Animal reuse is defined as participation in two separate research projects with different experimental goals. Because a collaboration is part of a single approved experimental timeline and a 3-year renewal is the continuation of an existing project, those actions are not considered animal reuse. Because animals are purpose bred to participate in research, the two activities are considered part of a single experimental goal.

How does the IACUC review animal reuse?
PIs receiving previously manipulated animals must have the reuse described and approved on the destination protocol. If the receipt of modified animals is not yet approved, the receiving PI must submit an amendment to update the “Special Considerations” page of the protocol form.  Assistance submitting your amendment is available by contacting the IACUC Office

Do I have to mark that animals were previously used in research for genotyping and/or identification activities?
No. Genotyping and non-surgical identification methods (tattoo, ear punch, ear tag, etc…) are included in breeding activity. However, a surgical implantation of a microchip does count as being previously used in research.

Do I have to note previous use when I am transferring my animals to a different room?
The question is still required, but you can enter “location change only.” These transfers do not need to be approved by IACUC.

Do I have to note previous use when I complete the transfer form due to protocol renewal?
The question is still required, but you can enter “Renewal.” These transfers do not need to be approved by IACUC.

Do I have to note previous use when I am transferring to a collaborator?
Yes.  If you are transferring animals to a collaborator so they can perform a procedure for you that is part of your experimental timeline, check Yes and enter “collaborator” as the description.

If you are transferring animals to another PI who will use the animals for a different research project, describe any procedures completed while the animals were housed on your protocol prior to transfer.

What if some animals I’m transferring have been used in research and some have not?
You have two options:

  1. Submit two transfer forms: One with the animals that have been previously used and one with the animals that have not. The two forms may be approved at different times.
  2. Submit one form and wait for IACUC approval of any previously used animals.