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Office of Research Services

Serving the NIH Community

Animal Transportation


DVR provides an animal transportation service to transport research animals and biological samples​ between facilities on the NIH Bethesda campus, the NIH Animal Center, and other NIH facilities in the Washington metropolitan area. On special request, transportation can be arranged to and from local airports and other government-affiliated animal facilities. Transportation services are provided using specifically designed, environmentally controlled vehicles to ensure the well-being and safe transport of animals. DVR has the capabilities to transport a wide range of species, i​ncluding: non-human primates, ungulates, carnivores, rodents, rabbits, and biological samples.

All DVR Transportation Staff undergo comprehensive training and hold current Commercial Driver’s Licenses (CDL’s). This comprehensive training consists of: fire safety, personal protective equipment (PPE), handling and restraint of animals, zoonotic diseases, bloodborne pathogen standards, vehicle sanitation procedures and the obtaining of medical care. DVR Transportation Staff are screened annually for animal health considerations and adhere to all NIH outlined Occupational Health considerations for working with research animals. 

Transportation Policies

  • It is DVR policy that animals are ​mentally alert and fully mobile during transportation.  Sedated or anesthetized animals require continuous monitoring during transportation in DVR vehicles.
  • Requests for transportation should be placed at least 2 working days in advance.

Hours of Operation

Standard hours are from 7:00 AM to 4:00 PM, Monday through Friday, excluding holidays.

Service may be arranged outside of these hours upon request at least 3 working days in advance.  Services outside of normal working hours will be charged directly to the IC.


Transportation Requests 

To submit an Animal Transportation request, please use the online DVR Animal Transportation Request. Requests for transportation should be placed at least 2 working days in advance. Online instructions for the request form are available.

Rodent and Rabbit Shipping Crates

Upon request, DVR Animal Transportation can provide shipping crates and hydrogel packs for rodents and rabbits. These crates are suitable for local shipping and the costs of the crates will be billed to the requester's CAN.

Shipping Crate Request Form PDF document​​