Transport guidelines - PACKER'S GUIDELINES Mm/6

Mm/6 – Mice, rats, cavies and other small mammals
1. General welfare
1.1 Animals should have priority over merchandise.
1.21 Only animals in good health should be transported.
1.3 Animals of different species should not be transported in the same container. Each compartment of a properly partitioned container may be considered as a separate container.
1.4 Unless animals of the same species are known to be compatible with one another, they should not be transported in the same container.
1.5 Animals should be disturbed as little as possible.
1.6 If filter containers are used, they should not be opened during transport. In an emergency, however, the animals should be humanely destroyed and a record kept.
1.7 When normal containers are used, any animals that have become sick or that have been injured during transport should receive veterinary treatment as soon as possible and, if necessary, should be humanely destroyed. A record of any such occurrences should be kept.
1.8 When normal containers are used, sick or dead animals should be removed from containers, when feasible, and a record kept.
1.9 To avoid cross-infection, and for health and hygiene reasons, human contact with animals should be avoided, and they should not be housed near foodstuffs or in places to which unauthorized persons have access.
1.10 No animal should be transported with radioactive material or other substances dangerous to health.
1.11 Containers should be secured to the aircraft, rail wagon, lorry or ship to avoid any possible movement, and should at all times be maintained in a horizontal position.
2. Advance arrangements for transport
2.1 All possible precautions should be taken in advance to ensure that animals are not subjected to extremes of temperature or to draughts. This would necessitate planning their movement with due regard to the climatic conditions natural to them, and to the conditions prevailing at their final destination, and also those that will be encountered during transport. Particular attention should be paid to the facilities at any intermediate stops at airports, etc.
2.2 Containers should be destroyed after use.
2.3 The estimated time of arrival should be notified in advance to the consignee, and also the route of the consignment. Adequate arrangements for its prompt collection at the final destination, and for any necessary movement at transit points, should be made in advance.
2.4 Should any delay in collection be anticipated, then advance arrangements should be made for the housing, feeding and watering of the animals.
2.5 Cash on delivery facilities should not be used.
3. Container
3.1 The container should be constructed of mesh-lined wood, or material of similar strength, and should be strong enough to house the animals, and to withstand the handling involved during transport.
3.2 There should be no sharp edges or projections on the inside surfaces of the container.
3.3 If any wood preservative or paint is used on the container, care should be taken to ensure that this is not toxic or a skin irritant.
3.4 The floor of the container should be leakproof.
3.5 The container should have a sufficient quantity of absorbent material on the floor and, in the case of a filter container, this should be sterile.
3.6 Filter containers should have adequate viewing windows.
3.7 Suitable containers for food and water should be provided to sustain the animals for a minimum of 48 hours.
3.8 Adequate ventilation should be provided by means of a suitable number and size of filters, or by suitable holes in walls and roof, covered with a fine mesh.
3.9 Spacer bars of adequate size should be fitted to all walls, roof and base of the container, to ensure that there is a free flow of air to the animals in the event of stacking or close stowing of cargo.
4. Labelling and documentation
  Durable, waterproof labels should be provided as follows:
4.1 "LIVE ANIMALS – DO NOT TIP" on all sides and top.
4.2 "THIS WAY UP", with arrows indicating the top, on all sides.
4.3 Consignor's and consignee's name, address and telephone number. Box numbers should not be used as the sole address.
4.4 Detailed list of contents: number of animals; scientific name and common names used in the exporting and importing countries.
4.5 Temperature range required.
4.6 Required diet, and feeding and watering instructions.
4.7 Date on which animals were crated for transport.
4.8 Official stamp of carrier showing date of his receipt of consignment.
  Durable, waterproof means of containing the following documents and other essential information should be firmly attached to the container:
4.9 Duplicate of consignor's and consignee's name, address and telephone number.
4.10 Duplicate list of contents as in 4.4.
4.11 Copies of relevant export and import licences.
4.12 Copy of valid health certificate issued in accordance with the requirements of the importing country.
4.13 Duplicate information regarding temperature range, and feeding and watering.
1 Exceptional circumstances may arise which justify departure from this recommendation.