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 fulfilled 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:

Endangered Species Act Covered Animals

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

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.

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.  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 specific 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.

Known or Suspected Infectious Materials and 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 EHSRM for advise or assistance with any shipment of hazardous materials.

Contact EHSRM, Jami Warrick (IAB), or a certified hazmat shipper in your UAF unit for assistance with shipping hazardous materials, including potentially infectious materials and biological substances. Persons offering hazardous materials for transport must be trained to ship these materials, and penalties can range up to $250,000 and/or 5 years in jail.

U.S. Department of Transportation regulations can be found in Title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations.

Hazardous materials include:

  • Known or suspected infectious materials.
  • Potentially infectious substances or materials.
  • Hazardous chemicals such as ethanol, isopropanol, 37% formalin, hydrochloric acid, lithium batteries, liquid nitrogen, and many others.