Australian research faces impending scarcity of lab rodents

From The Scientist, 20 July 2021:

iomedical researchers across Australia are reeling in shock from the sudden news that the biggest supplier of laboratory mice and rats in the country—the Animal Resources Centre—will close its doors in around a year, with no plans in place to ensure a continued supply of animals to researchers.

Malcolm France, a veterinarian and the director of animal services at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, says the first anyone heard of the impending closure was at the end of June. The news leaked from within the Animal Resources Centre (ARC), which is based in Murdoch in Western Australia, shortly after staff were informed that it was scheduled to close.

In the first week of July, an email went out to the ARC’s customers from its acting CEO Kirsty Moynihan, stating that the facility would be winding down its operations over the next 12–18 months. The email explained that the decision was made because the ARC was not able to operate in a financially self-sustaining manner, and was also required to vacate its premises at Murdoch University.

“The vast majority of medical research institutions running medical research programs would get some, if not most or even all, [of] their animals from the ARC,” says France. “So the impact is huge and at the moment the medical research community is facing huge uncertainty.” Read more.

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