Scientists in Australia are concerned that the announced closure of the country’s leading breeder and supplier of lab mice and rats will have a significant effect on biomedical research.
In 2020, the Animal Resources Centre (ARC), in Western Australia, sold 200,000 specialised strains of mice and rats to universities and research centres in Australia as well as Indonesia, New Zealand and South Korea.
Malcolm France, of ANZCCART (the Australian and New Zealand Council for the Care of Animals in Research and Teaching) told Science that the closure would have ‘major implications for Australia’s medical research effort’.
Michelle Haber, executive director of the Children’s Cancer Institute in Sydney, that ARC accounted for 80% of the animals for her institution, and said the closure could have a significant impact on the institute’s research programmes and ability to develop new treatments for children with cancer.
France explained there had been an over-reliance on ARC, but this could be an opportunity to create a new, more efficient facility located in eastern Australia, where most medical research is concentrated.