Guidelines for Handling & Restraint

Most animals have a natural tendency to avoid being handled, so our ability to work with them successfully depends upon our skill and experience in capturing and restraining them. Animal scratches or bites can have serious consequences, so please call the veterinary technical staff at 684-2797 before handling laboratory animal species that may be unfamiliar to you.

Several important considerations for the handling and restraint of specific laboratory animals include:

  • 1. All laboratory animals should be carried and restrained by properly supporting their entire body weight. A struggling, improperly restrained rabbit is especially prone to fracturing its spinal column. These animals must be euthanized.


  • 2. Small rodents may be lifted by grasping near the base of the tail. Gerbils should only be held by the tail near its base. The skin near the tip of the tail is fragile and may slip off.


  • 3. Please seek instruction from the DLAR veterinary staff before handling uncooperative dogs or cats.


  • 4. Nonhuman primates cannot be handled or restrained without consultation with the DLAR veterinary staff.


  • 5. The DLAR veterinary technical staff will assist you with information and instruction for the use of mechanical restraint devices.