Animal Capture & Holding

There are several levels of permits, licenses or permissions that may be required for UAF activities involving live animals; some examples include university permissions, state, and federal permits or licenses.  In addition, international work may also require a variety of permits within the other country. These requirements must often be obtained sequentially, so it may take several months to obtain all the required permits, licenses or permissions for some projects. Researchers are advised to look into the permit requirements as early as possible (preferably while writing the funding proposal) and to start the application process as soon as you receive an intent to award notice in order to avoid delays in starting their research or teaching activities.

University Requirements

All uses of live vertebrate animals must receive prior approval from the UAF Institutional Animal Care & Use Committee (IACUC) before any live vertebrate animals are handled.

The UAF IACUC will review Assurance applications before permits are obtained. Many permitting agencies require proof of IACUC review and approval before they will issue permits. Regardless of the sequence of approvals, work may not commense until it has been approved by the IACUC and all necessary permits and permissions have been obtained by the project personnel.  Please submit courtesy copies of permits when they are issued.

Animal husbandry plans must be approved as part of the IACUC review process for all work involving captive animals (wild or domesticated); you may either submit a project specific husbandry plan or reference a previously approved husbandry standard operating procedure (SOP).  The animal facilty manager maintains husbandry SOPs for commonly held species.  If you plan to develop a project specific husbandry SOP, please work closely with the animal facility manager to ensure that adequate supplies, equipment, space and personnel will be available for your proposed project.

State Requirements

The information provided below concerns the licensing and permit requirements for the state of Alaska. Although many of the requirements are similar in other states, be sure to check with the appropriate state office(s) to determine the actual requirements. In this state, the primary permitting agency is the Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G).

Division of Wildlife Conservation, Permits Section, ADF&G

Policy and Requirements for Scienfitic Permits - describes permitting requirements, application options and reporting procedures.

Permit Forms

Questions or Comments related to permits should be directed to Alaska Department of Fish and Game
Division of Wildlife Conservation.

Division of Sport Fish & Division of Commercial Fisheries, ADF&G

Fish Resource Policy is a policy that answers many of the questions people have about Fish Resource Permits (FRP). It explains the types of FRPs that are available, the uniform application procedures, permit conditions, reporting requirements, and restrictions. The Scientific and Educational Permits are available online; the two most commonly used forms are:

Fish Resource Permit (For Scientific/Educational Purposes) - Use this application to apply for authorization to take, possess, hold alive, mark or tag, import into or export from Alaska, fish or amphibians for scientific or educational purposes. The FRP form is available as a Word version or pdf fillable form.

Fish Resource Permit: Aquaria Attachment- Required for the transport and live holding of specimens to be contained in aquaria. The Aquaria Attachment is available as a Word version or pdf fillable form.

Fish Transport Permit (Fish, Shellfish & Eggs). Required of anyone who wants to transport, possess, export from the state, or release into the waters of the state, any live fish.  Applicants wishing to export live fish from the state must attach a permit to import from officials of the receiving state. In all cases the project must already have been discussed or approved in another document or permit before an FTP application will be processed. This formis available as a Word version or pdf fillable form. The form must be completed and mailed to Alaska Dept. of Fish and Game, Division of Commercial Fisheries, Attn: Permit Coordinator, P.O. Box 115526, Juneau, AK 99811-5526 or emailed to: Note: Allow at least 45 days for review of your application.

Questions and comments about Fisheries permits should be directed to:

Fresh water fish, invertebrates and amphibiansScott Ayers, Fish Resource Permit Program Coordinator, 333 Raspberry Rd, Anchorage, AK 99518-1565, 907-267-2517.

Saltwater Fish, Aquatic Plants and Propagation and Fish Transport – Fresh water or Salt water:  Michelle Morris, P.O. Box 115526, Juneau, AK 99811-5526. 907-465-4724.

Federal Requirements

There are several federal laws and international treaties that may apply to specific projects involving wildlife including, but not limited to, the following:

  • Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) - Species List
  • Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES)
  • Endangered Species Act (ESA)
  • Lacey Act
  • Wild Bird Conservation Act
  • Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act
  • Migratory Bird Treaty Act

Two main federal agencies issue permits under these acts, the National Marine Fisheries Service and the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.

U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS)

USFWS maintains a permitting website that includes links to permit applications, instructions, and links to the regulations.

National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS)

NMFS maintains a Permits & Authorizations page on the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Fisheries Division website. This site has a link to a useful Pre-Application Guide that helps you determine if you need a permit, and if so, which one.

In addition to the USFWS and NMFS, the U.S. Geological Service (USGS) administers the Federal Bird Banding Laboratory (BBL) which assists with permit review and approval of bird permits. The USGS-BBL requires annual reports of all banding activities as a condition of their banding permits. Links to permit application, permit renewal, online annual reports, band order forms, and other bander resources are available on the USGS-BBL website.

International Requirements

Local Laws, Regulations and Customs

UAF personnel working with animals in other countries are advised to work with the U.S. embassy or consulate in that country to ensure they comply with all applicable local laws, regulations and customs.

Import and Export Regulations (US and Foreign)

UAF Personnel transporting animals, tissues or products between countries must comply with both the export regulations for the originating country and the import regulations for the destination country.  Information on U.S. export permits is available on the Import & Export page of this website. Contact the Office of Research Integrity for assistance regarding U.S. import or export regulations. The U.S. Embassy or the Export Office in the foreign country are the best sources of information for other countries' import/export regulations.