The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of ovarian tissue transportation conditions (medium and period of time) on the morphology, apoptosis and development of ovine preantral follicles cultured in vitro. Each ovarian pair was cut into nine slices, with one fragment being fixed immediately (fresh control). The remaining fragments were placed individually in cryotubes containing conservation medium (minimal essential medium (MEM) without supplementation or MEM+ – with supplementation) and stored at 35ºC for 6 or 12 h without (non-cultured) or with subsequent culture for 5 days. Then, the fragments were processed for histological and terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase (TdT) mediated dUTP nick-end labelling (TUNEL) examination. Preservation of ovarian slices in MEM or MEM+ (non-cultured) resulted in similar percentages of normal follicles when compared with the fresh control. Nevertheless, compared with the fresh control, a decrease in the percentage of normal follicles was observed in tissues cultured for 5 days. Only for tissues preserved in supplemented medium (MEM+) for 6 h, the percentage of TUNEL positive cells was similar between non-cultured tissues and tissues cultured for 5 days. Follicular activation and growth (follicular and oocyte diameter) were higher in cultured tissues than in fresh control or non-cultured tissues, except those from fragments preserved for 6 h in MEM and then cultured for 5 days in which no growth was observed. In conclusion, ovine ovarian tissue was successfully preserved in supplemented medium (MEM+) at a temperature close to physiological values (35°C) for up to 6 h without affecting apoptosis in the ovarian follicles and their ability to develop in vitro.