Bioresearch & Veterinary Services


A list of frequently asked questions with answers.

Who do I contact to get animal costings for my grant submission?

All grant costings for small animals should be submitted to the Senior Scientific Research Manager. (secured)

For grant costings related to Aquatic species, please contact the Aquatics Unit Manager.

What is included in the price of an animal cage?

Housing animals in a BVS facility is charged per cage per week. The cage charge includes most animal husbandry, welfare checks, recording births and deaths and weaning litters. The cage charge does not cover specialist technical assistance (including timed matings and surgery), identification (ear-notching) or euthanasia.

Can BVS technicians help with procedures that I cannot do on my PIL?

Yes. BVS technicians are trained in a variety of licenced procedures. Please contact your local unit manager, via the zone Ops manager, to arrange help with specific techniques. Technical assistance will be charged at a standard hourly rate.

Can I visit multiple BVS facilities in one day?

BVS operates a 48hr quarantine rule across all of the facilities because each unit has a different health status. In most cases this means that you can only visit one unit per day and must wait 48hrs before entering another animal facility. This is to protect against the spread of pathogens from one unit to another which may detrimentally affect research across different sites. If you are unsure or have further questions about quarantine restrictions, please contact the Senior Scientific Research Manager. (secured)

How do I import a live animal line into a BVS unit?

In order to import live animals into a BVS facility an import request form (Link) should be completed and submitted to The form includes information regarding the health status of the exporting institution. This will be reviewed by the NVS and BVS who will decide if live animals can be imported and into which facility. If the health status of the exporting institution is not compatible with BVS facilities, the line will need to be brought in via sperm or embryos. This will be coordinated by the Central Transgenic Core (CTC) but the researcher is responsible for payment of shipping.

How do I export a line to a collaborator?

If you would like to export a live animal, your local BVS unit manager can arrange shipment through a specific animal courier to the receiving institution (the researcher is responsible for payment of shipping). The receiving institution may request health screens from the exporting unit that can be provided by BVS.

If you would like to export cryopreserved sperm/eggs, this can be arranged by the CTC Manager (secured). Transport of germplasm is preferable if the receiving institution is outside the UK due to animal welfare concerns.

How do I find an animal that I think is already present in Edinburgh? Is there a local mouse strain database?

Your local BVS unit manager will be able to search the tick@lab database for strains that are currently on the shelf and that may be available. Alternatively you can email

Can the University make a new transgenic mouse/rat for me?

Yes. Central transgenic Core (CTC) has two transgenic facilities within BVS and have an excellent track record of generating animal models for researchers at the University. For more information about a specific project please contact the CTC manager, or visit our website. (secured)

Who is responsible for providing RPE to research staff?

Staff Health and Safety is paramount and therefore before induction into a facility, Respiratory Protective Equipment (RPE) needs to be addressed, this will be in conjunction with the University’s Occupational Health Unit. The researcher’s PI or line manager is responsible for risk assessing the tasks, as well as organising the health surveillance required, for the activities that will be conducted in BVS animal facilities. They are also responsible for providing their staff with appropriate RPE for their staff. For more help and guidance, please contact and the University of Edinburgh’s guidance on occupational health

How do I get access to the tick@lab database?

You must attend a tick@lab training course before you will be given access to the database. The University Event Booking system, can be used to view training dates, or book a place on a training session. Further information can be found here. (secured)

How do I register to get a PIL?

To apply for a new PIL (or transfer an existing PIL from another institution), please contact the BVS Veterinary & Home Office team.

How do I know if a piece of equipment is available in one of the BVS animal facilities?

BVS has access to a variety of pieces of equipment. Some are permanently housed within a facility because of their size, whereas others are transportable. To identify a specific piece of equipment that you require please contact the BVS Senior Scientific Research Manager (secured) in the first instance

Why do I have to shower to enter some BVS animal facilities?

BVS maintain a variety of facilities that are used for different purposes. Higher barrier (Shower-in) facilities are used to protect animals against specific pathogens that may be detrimental to the scientific research being carried out. All goods inwards are treated, fumigated or autoclaved and any person entering must shower. These processes (including showering) protect the facilities from potential pathogen outbreaks which may ultimately compromise millions of pounds of research. It is vital that the entry procedures outlined in your unit induction, which are stated in the BVS Code of Practice, are adhered to for each unit; failure to do so could result in your access to the facility being revoked.

Still have a Query?

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BVS General Enquiries

  • Bioresearch & Veterinary Services

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