U.S. Code of Federal Regulations
Regulations most recently checked for updates: Sep 24, 2023
No dealer, research facility, exhibitor, or operator of an auction sale shall offer for transportation or transport, in commerce, any live animal in a primary enclosure which does not conform to the following requirements:
(a) Primary enclosures, such as compartments, transport cages, cartons, or crates, used to transport live animals shall be constructed in such a manner that (1) the structural strength of the enclosure shall be sufficient to contain the live animals and to withstand the normal rigors of transportation; (2) the interior of the enclosure shall be free from any protrusions that could be injurious to the live animals contained therein; (3) the openings of such enclosures are easily accessible at all times for emergency removal of the live animals; (4) except as provided in paragraph (g) of this section, there are ventilation openings located on two opposite walls of the primary enclosure and the ventilation openings on each such wall shall be at least 16 percent of the total surface area of each such wall, or there are ventilation openings located on all four walls of the primary enclosure and the ventilation openings on each such wall shall be at least 8 percent of the total surface area of each such wall: Provided, however, That at least one-third of the total minimum area required for ventilation of the primary enclosure shall be located on the lower one-half of the primary enclosure and at least one-third of the total minimum area required for ventilation of the primary enclosure shall be located on the upper one-half of the primary enclosure; (5) except as provided in paragraph (g) of this section, projecting rims or other devices shall be on the exterior of the outside walls with any ventilation openings to prevent obstruction of the ventilation openings and to provide a minimum air circulation space of 1.9 centimeters (.75 inch) between the primary enclosure and any adjacent cargo or conveyance wall; and (6) except as provided in paragraph (g) of this section, adequate handholds or other devices for lifting shall be provided on the exterior of the primary enclosure to enable the primary enclosure to be lifted without tilting and to ensure that the person handling the primary enclosure will not be in contact with the animal.
(b) Live animals transported in the same primary enclosure shall be of the same species and maintained in compatible groups. Live animals that have not reached puberty shall not be transported in the same primary enclosure with adult animals other than their dams. Socially dependent animals (e.g., sibling, dam, and other members of a family group) must be allowed visual and olfactory contact. Any female animal in season (estrus) shall not be transported in the same primary enclosure with any male animal.
(c) Primary enclosures used to transport live animals shall be large enough to ensure that each animal contained therein has sufficient space to turn about freely and to make normal postural adjustments: Provided, however, That certain species may be restricted in their movements according to professionally acceptable standards when such freedom of movement would constitute a danger to the animals, their handlers, or other persons.
(d) Primary enclosures used to transport live animals as provided in this section shall have solid bottoms to prevent leakage in shipment and still be cleaned and sanitized in a manner prescribed in § 3.131 of the standards, if previously used. Such primary enclosures shall contain clean litter of a suitable absorbent material, which is safe and nontoxic to the live animals contained therein, in sufficient quantity to absorb and cover excreta, unless the animals are on wire or other nonsolid floors.
(e) Primary enclosures used to transport live animals, except where such primary enclosures are permanently affixed in the animal cargo space of the primary conveyance, shall be clearly marked on top and on one or more sides with the words “Live Animal” or “Wild Animal”, whichever is appropriate, in letters not less than 2.5 centimeters (1 inch) in height, and with arrows or other markings to indicate the correct upright position of the container.
(f) Documents accompanying the shipment shall be attached in an easily accessible manner to the outside of a primary enclosure which is part of such shipment.
(g) When a primary enclosure is permanently affixed within the animal cargo space of the primary conveyance so that the front opening is the only source of ventilation for such primary enclosure, the front opening shall open directly to the outside or to an unobstructed aisle or passageway within the primary conveyance. Such front ventilation opening shall be at least 90 percent of the total surface area of the front wall of the primary enclosure and covered with bars, wire mesh or smooth expanded metal.