Transportation of Animals Between the NFL-Frederick and the NIH Bethesda

The NFL Lab Animal Sciences Program - Bethesda (LASP-Bethesda) has received questions lately about the requirements for shipping animals between the NFL-Frederick and the NIH Bethesda Campus. One of the LASP-Bethesdas main goals is to facilitate the investigator in their research while ensuring adherence to all regulations and guidelines covering the use of animals in research. Therefore, the LASP-Bethesda consulted the NIH Office of Animal Care and Use (OACU) to verify the minimum requirements for its NFL investigators. The following policy was developed to address this issue:


Any investigator interested in using or transporting animals between the NFL-Frederick and the NIH Bethesda Campus must submit a NFL Animal Study Proposal (ASP) form to both the NFL-Frederick ACUC in Frederick and the NFL-ACUC in Bethesda for review and approval. Animals may not be transported between these two locations until the ASP is approved by both ACUCs.


The NFL-Frederick in Frederick and the institutes of the NIH Bethesda Campus (including NFL) are considered, from an animal care and use program perspective, to be different "Institutes" as organizationally structured. The two areas are covered by different assurance statements with the Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare and are reviewed, site visited, and assessed as separate and distinct animal use programs by the Association for Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care International. The fact that the two areas are considered to be separate, requires that animals used at both locations are to be covered under both a NFL-ACUC and a NFL-Frederick ACUC approved ASP. The ASP must describe the animal use activities to be conducted at each site with a clear description of the objectives, the rationale for animal use, the number justification, etc. The same ASP form can be submitted to both ACUCs for review, as long as the experimental section clearly describes what procedures are to be performed in each location, animal holding facility, laboratory, etc. The transportation issues must also be clearly addressed in the ASP.