Shipping Guidelines

The submitter is responsible for adherence to sample shipping regulations. All samples submitted to the NDSU-VDL must be clearly labeled and packaged to prevent leaks, breaks, and punctures during transport. See General Submission Guidelines for more specific information on the collection of samples for specific tests.

The links below contain important information from the Department of Transportation (DOT) and Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) regulations on shipping and packaging of Category B substances or potentially infectious samples.

AVMA Overview:

DOT/PHMSA Guidelines: (Page 31).

General Overview:

Primary container

  • Examples of primary containers: Tube holding blood; screwcap jar containing feces; sleeve containing feces; plastic bottle containing a water sample; sealable sandwich bag containing tissue; or any instance where the container/bag is in direct contact with the sample.
  • Please parafilm or tape the seal of primary containers or place within a small, sealed bag before placing in the secondary container.
  • Glass: Individually wrap in cushioning material (e.g., paper towels, bubble wrap, etc.) to prevent breaks.
  • Liquids: Must place absorbent material between the primary and secondary containers to absorb any leaks.
  • Do not ship needles.
  • Samples must be clearly labeled with the animal ID. If multiple samples are submitted label them in numerical and in consecutive order (1, 2, 3, etc.), corresponding with the numbers on the Sample Identification Form.

Secondary container encloses the primary container and is also sealable.

  • Examples of a secondary container: A plastic jar surrounding a glass redtop tube; a sealed sandwich bag holding a Whirl-Pak that contains a tissue; a Styrofoam/insulated insert holding screwcap jars containing feces.
  • If using ice packs, please within sealable bags in case of leaking or rupture. Do not place ice page in direct contact with cardboard outer container. Styrofoam-type inserts are recommended to minimize the chance of leakage when sending ice packs.

Outer container has the shipping and return address labels.

  • Examples of outer containers: Rigid cardboard box, plastic cooler, padded envelope.
  • Please send submissions so they arrive at the NDSU-VDL within 24-48 hours of collection.
  • Submission Forms and other paper documents should be submitted in sealed bags between the secondary and outer containers.

Revised 07-2019

Printable version available here.