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Introduction

  Due to a) the increasing demand and attention to the application of laboratory animals in Taiwan and around the world, b) the establishment of the regulations regarding to the animal protection and the use of laboratory animals in Taiwan, and c) the importance of the role of laboratory animals in supporting basic and integrated pre-clinical and clinical researches. The National Health Research Institutes (NHRI) decided to establish a laboratory animal center on campus to facilitate the laboratory animal uses in NHRI and therefore to improve the quality of laboratory animals and to advance the technologies for the use of laboratory animals. The Laboratory Animal Center (LAC) of NHRI is located in the Research Building with an area of 6,830 square meters (2,066 ping). LAC consists of animal holding and experimentation areas, cage cleaning, sterilization, and storage areas, and an administration area. LAC is fully equipped with major husbandry facilities and equipment and is able to satisfy the needs of NHRI investigators using laboratory animals such as rats, mice, rabbits, dogs, and pigs. Studies using infectious animals are also supported.

  In order to support the needs for laboratory animals uses while keeping the renovation of LAC facilities in progress, a contingency use plan of the LAC was proposed and carried out during the initial stage of using the LAC facilities. The plan involves a small scale of a temporary operation using the canine facility for holding rodents as initiated in October 2005. The use of the rabbit facility for holding rodents was initiated in March 2006. While the contingency use plan was in effect, renovation activities and purchase and installation of major equipment were on going at the same time. LAC has been in its fully functional activities for husbandry services since May 2009. In addition, an LAC branch at the B1 of The Uni-President Health Research Building, Tainan has been completed with renovations in August 2008 and has provided husbandry services for mice, rats and rabbits to the NHRI researchers.

  The design of the animal facilities, the managerial skills of LAC staff and the quality of the laboratory animals have direct and important impacts on the quality of the study results. To assure the safety of the NHRI staff and to provide a well-managed and smooth usage mechanism of the animal facilities, LAC has held regular workshops for the uses of LAC facilities focusing on to show the accessible routes and areas, to demonstrate procedures of going in and out of the LAC, and to present related Standard Operation Procedures (SOP). In order to familiarize the NHRI staff with the LAC working environment, the LAC staff provide a guided tour for the attendees to go around the animal holding and experimentation areas and opportunities to on-site practice in compliance with the SOPs during the workshops. It is expected that the values of LAC can and will only be highlighted as a result of the proper and extensive uses by the research staff including husbandry services, technical and experimental services, and collaborations in research projects. It is the responsibility of both the research staff and management staff to maintain the LAC in its great working conditions and thus functions. The NHRI-LAC will offer more high-quality husbandry services, professional technical services, expertise for research collaborations to support and/or to collaborate on all possible needs in using the laboratory animals.

35, Keyan Road, Zhunan Town, Miaoli County 350, Taiwan, ROC
Phone: (886)-37-246-166 ext:32912; Fax: (886)-37-583-024
National Health Research Institutes. All rights reserved.