Transport & Shipping

Interstate (within the US) transfer and shipping of live animals, animal tissues, known or suspected infectious substances, or hazardous materials typically require a least one permit, license, or other formal documentation.

International transfers or shipments will require additional permits, licenses, documentation, etc. Click on the Import & Export link on the navigation bar for links to agencies with import and export permitting authority and examples of permit and licensing requirements for some recent UAF imports and exports.

Live Animals

State Veterinarians

You must have permission, in writing, from the State Veterinarian of both the sending and receiving state before shipping live wildlife or domesticated livestock. The Office of the Alaska State Veterinarian can assist you in contacting the receiving state's veterinarian (a list of state veterinarians with their contact information is provided on the Alaska state veterinarian's website) and determining any criteria that must be fufilled prior to transfer.

Health Certificate

A health certificate issued by a licensed veterinarian no more than 30 days before shipping, must be available with the animal and a copy must be submitted to the State Veterinarian's Office of the sending state, who then forwards a copy to the State Veterinarian of the receiving state. Private carriers may have requirements that are more restrictive than the state/governmental regulations; for example, Alaska Airlines requires that health certificates be issued no more than 10 days prior to shipping, so be sure to check with each carrier!

State Department of Fish & Game (or equivalent)

You must have permission, in writing, from the appropriate state wildlife or fisheries official in both the sending and receiving state before transferring any live wildlife. In Alaska contact the following:

  • Division of Sportfish or Division of Commercial Fisheries, ADF&Game: Submit your request via a Fish Transport application.
  • Division of Wildlife Conservation, ADF&G:

    Alaska Department of Fish and Game
    Division of Wildlife Conservation
    P.O. Box 115526
    Juneau, AK 99811-5526
    Phone: (907) 465-4190
    Fax: (907) 465-6142

Endangered Species Act Covered Animals

A USFWS Permit for the interstate transport of Endangered Species Act covered species is required; s ee the appropriate section under "Commerce, Interstate" on the USFWS Permit Application Index.

Animal Welfare Act Requirements

Minimum requirements for primary enclosures used to transport live animals and for care in transit can be found in the Animal Welfare Act (Title 9, Chapter 1, Part 3: Standards),

Carrier Requirements

A health certificate (see above) is required for all commercial flights or shipments.

Air Transportation - Most air transport companies, and many countries, have adopted the Live Animal Regulations created by the International Air Transport Association for all shipments of live animals on commercial flights.  Both the UAF Office of Research Integrity and Veterinary Services have a copy of the LAR.  However, you should always contact the carrier directly to determine any additional requirements they may have for the species you plan to ship.

Ground Transportation - check with the carrier for any company speicific regulations.

Animal Tissues

A permit from the USFWS is required for the interstate transport of tissues from an endangered species; see the appropriate section under "Commerce, Interstate" on the USFWS Permit Application Index.

Be sure to check with the receiving State Veterinarian for any state bans or permit requirements on the Importation (internationally or from other states) of specific animal tissues; for example, the State of Alaska's recent ban on the importation of certain cervid tissues.

Known or Suspected Infectious Materials 

The National Institutes of Health, Division of Safety, Office of Research Services, Instructions on How to Ship Infectious Materials is a good guide for safely shipping infectious materials. Department of Transportation Hazardous Materials Regulations (49CFR Chapter I, Subpart C) contains a Hazardous Materials Table (Part 172, Subpart B, 172.101) with the requirements for shipping substances which are infectious to humans or animals (look up Infectious Substances in the alphabetical index).

Potentially Infectious Substances or Materials

If you reasonably suspect that the materials being shipped are infectious you should follow the instructions for shipping infectious materials (above). The term "Diagnostic Specimens" is no longer permitted. The descriptive label should now read "Biological Substance, Category A or B" (as appropriate). Although diagnostic samples were previously exempt from regulation, they are now listed in the Hazardous Material Tables of Title 49 CFR and are subject to the new rules. These substances must be package by a DOT Certified Shipper, if you do not have Certified Shipper in your UAF unit, contact EHS&RM for assistance. Packing instructions:

  • Biological Substances, Category A (pdf): An infectious substance which is transported in a form that, when exposure to it occurs, is capable of causing permanent disability, life-threatening or fatal disease in otherwise healthy humans or animals. Infectious substances that cause disease in humans or in both humans and animals must be assigned to UN 2814 . Infectious substances that cause disease only in animals must be assigned to UN 2900 .
  • Biological Substances Category B (pdf) - formerly Diagnostic Speciments: An infectious substance which does not meet the criteria for inclusion in Category A. Infectious substances in Category B must be assigned to UN 3373.

Hazardous Materials 

The U.S. Department of Transportation, Hazardous Materials Regulations (49CFR Chapter I, Subpart C) contain the requirements for carriage by rail, aircraft, vessel, or public highway of hazardous materials. Contact EHS&RM for advise or assistance with any shipment of hazardous materials.