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Emergency Bison Field Necropsy Kits

Emergency Bison Field Necropsy Kits 

Herd of Bison facing you with snow capped mountains in the background.

The Center of Excellence for Bison Studies (BisonCOE) has a limited supply of emergency necropsy kits available for purchase. These kits have supplies and materials included to help you conduct a necropsy, under the supervision of your local veterinarian, on recently deceased bison. At this time, we are providing kits supplied by Kansas State Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory (KSVDL).

Link to KSVDL Website

The kits at SDSU are intended as a last-minute, last-resort option. The BisonCOE staff and faculty encourage you to plan ahead and order 1-3 kits to have on-hand, depending on the size and type of your operation (more kits for larger operations or for high density situations like custom feeding). The materials in these kits are non-perishable and have an extended shelf-life.

Upon completing a necropsy, the kits are to be shipped to KSVDL for analysis.

You will receive a new kit in the mail from KSVDL as a replacement so that you continue to have a kit on-hand and ready to go.

What comes in the kit?

Each kit includes:

  • Insulated shipping box
  • Submission form and instructions (included instructions are made specifically for cattle because this is a service from KSVDL – but are applicable for bison also)
  • 2 – ice packs (to be frozen at your home until shipping of samples)
  • 1 – tube holder with EDTA and additive-free tubes
  • Quart and gallon baggies
  • Whirl-Pak baggies
  • 1 – jar of formalin
  • 2 – swabs
  • 2 – 50 l tubes

Additional resources:

In addition to the kits, you may also purchase a “Necropsy Field Guide” booklet developed by the National Bison Association (NBA) and authored by Drs. Dave Hunter, DVM; Todd Shury, DVM, PhD; and Murray Woodbury, DVM that walks you through how to conduct a field necropsy on bison. Please note that you should work with your local veterinarian on-site to conduct a necropsy.


The necropsy kits are $25/each + tax + shipping (shipping is approximately $7 by ground or $20 by air). The kits are priced “at cost”.

The necropsy field guide booklets are $20/each + tax + shipping.


Please email our staff or by calling 605-394-2236 to order your emergency necropsy kit.