care for the animals; if needed, measures should be taken to minimize occupational hazards related to exposure to animals.

Building materials should be selected to facilitate efficient and hygienic operation of animal facilities. Durable, moisture-proof, fire-resistant, seamless materials are most desirable for interior surfaces. Surfaces should be highly resistant to the effects of cleaning agents, scrubbing, high-pressure sprays, and impact. Paints and glazes should be nontoxic if used on surfaces with which animals will have direct contact. In the construction of outdoor facilities, consideration should be given to surfaces that withstand the elements and can be easily maintained.


Professional judgment should be exercised in the development of a practical, functional, and efficient physical plant for animal care and use. The size, nature, and intensity of an institutional animal program will determine the specific facility and support functions needed. In facilities that are small, maintain few animals, or maintain animals under special conditions—such as facilities used exclusively for housing gnotobiotic or specific-pathogen-free (SPF) colonies or animals in runs, pens, or outdoor housing—some functional areas listed below might be unnecessary or might be included in a multipurpose area.

Space is required for

  • Animal housing, care, and sanitation.

  • Receipt, quarantine, and separation of animals.

  • Separation of species or isolation of individual projects when necessary.

  • Storage.

Most multipurpose animal facilities also include the following:

  • Specialized laboratories or space contiguous with or near animal housing areas for such activities as surgery, intensive care, necropsy, radiography, preparation of special diets, experimental procedures, clinical treatment, and diagnostic laboratory procedures.

  • Containment facilities or equipment, if hazardous biologic, physical, or chemical agents are to be used.

  • Receiving and storage areas for food, bedding, pharmaceuticals, biologics, and supplies.

  • Space for washing and sterilizing equipment and supplies and, depending on the volume of work, machines for washing cages, bottles, glassware, racks, and waste cans; a utility sink; an autoclave for equipment, food, and bedding; and separate areas for holding soiled and clean equipment.

  • Space for storing wastes before incineration or removal.

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