The physical plant at the Animal Resources Centre exists in duplicate, providing 100% backup to all facility support systems. A diesel generator and a continuous flow water tank (containing a 3 day reserve) are on site to guard against loss of supply. The internal environment of the facility and plant are monitored and controlled by a computerised system. The plant and security are monitored and serviced 24 hours a day.
Multiple autoclaves sterilise autoclavable supplies. Non-autoclavable supplies are passed through tanks containing a germicide or fumigated with hydrogen peroxide gas. Personnel working with animals don dedicated clothing before moving around the site, thus reducing the risk of introducing contaminants from street clothes.
Animal production at the Animal Resources Centre occurs in two separate buildings, a Production Facility and an Isolator and Quarantine facility. The Production Facility consists of six distinct barrier areas separated by air filters and scrubbers to prevent cross contamination. To maintain the health status of the animals, which are housed in open cages, personnel ‘shower in’ to the production facility. Personnel remove footwear and immediately enter change rooms where they disrobe, shower and shampoo. Personnel then redress behind the barrier in sterilised clothing inclusive of hood, gloves and surgical grade mask.
Staff movement between Production areas is managed to ensure personnel only move from clean to progressively dirtier areas after a specified period. Each animal room receives a minimum of 15 changes of 100% fresh air per hour, which is sustained by three high capacity HEPA air handling systems. Drinking water is acidified to pH 2.5 (range 2.25-2.75) to prevent bacterial contamination of the water supplied to the animals.
The light cycle is set at 15 hours on and 9 hours off. Lighting intensity is reduced when personnel are not working in the room.
The Isolator Facility contains 40 large flexible film isolators for production strains and 20 smaller isolators for rederived animals. Isolators are provided with HEPA-filtered air and sterilised food, bedding and cages.
The Animal Resources Centre has two Quarantine-approved premises; one transit area with isolators only, and another longer term Quarantine area for rederivations. Both are DAFF approved.