The ARC’s physical plant provides facility support system redundancy, including electricity and water supply. A building monitoring system monitors and reports on key systems, including the facility’s internal environment. The plant and security are monitored and serviced 24 hours a day.
Multiple methods are used to sterilize supplies, including autoclaves, dunk tanks, and fumigation. Husbandry personnel don dedicated clothing before moving around the site, to reduce the risk of introducing contaminants from street clothes.
Animal production occurs in two separate buildings, a Production Facility and an Isolator and Quarantine Facility. The Production Facility consists of six distinct areas to prevent cross-contamination. Personnel entering the Production Facility ‘shower in’ to maintain the animal’s health status. 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 mask.
Staff movement is managed to ensure personnel only move from clean to progressively dirtier areas after a specified period. Each animal room receives 100% HEPA-filtered air. Acidified animal drinking water (pH range 2.25-2.75) prevents bacterial contamination.
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 production animal isolators and 20 smaller isolators. Isolators receive HEPA-filtered air, sterilised food, bedding and cages.
The Animal Resources Centre has two International Quarantine-approved premises; one transit area with isolators only, and another longer term Quarantine area