7.1.4 Animal Facilities (Secondary Barriers)

  • The animal facility is separated from areas that are open to unrestricted personnel traffic within the building.  External facility doors are self-closing and self-locking.  
    Access to the animal facility is restricted.  Doors to areas where infectious materials and/or animals are housed open inward, are self-closing, are kept closed when experimental animals are present, and should never be propped open.  Doors to cubicles inside an animal room may open outward or slide horizontally or vertically.
  • The animal facility must have a sink for hand washing.  Sink traps are filled with water, and/or appropriate liquid to prevent the migration of vermin and gases. 
  • The animal facility is designed, constructed, and maintained to facilitate cleaning and housekeeping.  The interior surfaces (walls, floors, and ceilings) are water resistant.  It is recommended that penetrations in floors, walls and ceiling surfaces are sealed, to included openings around ducts, doors and door frames, to facilitate pest control and proper cleaning.  Floors must be slip resistant, impervious to liquids, and resistant to chemicals.
  • Cabinets and bench tops must be impervious to water and resistant to heat, organic solvents, acids, alkalis, and other chemicals. Spaces between benches, cabinets and equipment should be accessible for cleaning.  Chairs used in the animal area must be covered with a non-porous material that can be easily cleaned and decontaminated.  Furniture must be capable of supporting anticipated loads and uses.  Sharp edges and corners should be avoided.
  • External windows are not recommended; if present windows must be resistant to breakage.  Where possible, windows should be sealed.  If the animal facility has windows that open, they should be fitted with fly screens.  The presence of windows may impact facility security and therefore should be assessed by security personnel.
  • Ventilation should be provided in accordance with the Guide for Care and Use of Laboratory Animals.  No recirculation of exhaust air should occur.  It is recommended that animal rooms have inward directional airflow.  Ventilation system design should consider the heat and high moisture load produced during the cleaning of animal rooms and the cage wash process. 
  • Internal facility appurtenances, such as light fixtures, air ducts, and utility pipes, are arranged to minimize horizontal surface areas to facilitate cleaning and minimize the accumulation of debris or fomites.
  • If floor drains are provided, the traps are always filled with water, and/or an appropriate disinfectant to prevent the migration of vermin and gases.
  • Cages are washed manually or preferably in a mechanical cage washer. The mechanical cage washer should have a final rinse temperature of at least 180oF. 
  • Illumination is adequate for all activities, avoiding reflections and glare that could impede vision.
  • Emergency eyewash and shower are readily available; location is determined by risk assessment.