of literature available on transportation practices and the effect of transportation on the most common research animals. However, using the extensive body of literature that is available on agricultural animals, the committee was able to develop, in Chapter 3, a set of good practices based on some universal concepts of physiology and a scientific understanding of species-specific needs and differences. Good practices were developed to address thermal environment, space requirements, food and water requirements, social interaction and group transportation, handling, monitoring of transportation, emergency procedures, and personnel training. Although precise engineering standards are often preferred by human assessors, the scientific literature supports few engineering standards. Therefore, the good practices recommended by the committee were developed as “performance standards,” which define an outcome (such as animal well-being or safety) and provide criteria for assessing that outcome without limiting the methods by which to achieve that outcome. The use of performance standards allows institutions and organizations the flexibility to adjust their procedures to optimize animal welfare according to the species being transported, the mode of transportation, and local environmental conditions.
During public hearings, it was evident that the issue causing the greatest confusion among those attempting to ship research animals is the overlapping authority that multiple federal agencies have over the research animal transportation process. In Chapter 2, the committee identifies the federal agencies that may be involved in the process and summarizes their agencies’ statutory authority, the aspects of the transportation process that they regulate, and how they enforce their authority (inspection, permitting, and issuing standards). In addition, the committee identifies the major international treaties and agreements that may pertain to the importation or exportation of animals into or from the United States. At the end of the chapter is a checklist of questions that can be used to identify the standards that apply when transporting animals into, out of, or within the United States.
Several of the federal statutes were enacted to prevent the introduction, transmission, or spread of communicable disease in the United States, which could occur either intentionally or unintentionally through human exposure to animals. Infectious pathogens are not only a risk to public health, but can jeopardize animal health, research programs, and agricultural resources if introduced into animal colonies and laboratories. In Chapter 4, the committee identifies diseases of research animals that can be transmitted to humans, agricultural animals, and other research animals, and recommends good practices to avoid biosafety problems during transport and introduction at a new facility. Utilizing a good shipper is important for maintaining biosecurity during transport, as well