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Chi Ki, Sarah, Iyana and Vanessa taking EMS placement in LARU Anthony, Xenia, Esther and Pamela sharing learning experience with Prof. Eddie MA Community Engagement - HKTA HKTA Tang Hin Memorial Secondary School on 12 Jun 2024 Year 1 Vet students sharing local and foreign secondary school learning experience with teachers Demonstration how automatic robotic system helps LARU routine duty OCT training on 19 Mar 2024 Hand On measurement trial in OCT training LARU obtained the ISO 9001:2015 accreditation LARU Holding Room LARU Holding Room LARU Procedure Room LARU Procedure Room LARU Procedure Room

Laboratory Animal Research Unit (LARU)

LARU is a Central Research Facility under the Office of the Vice-President (Research) and has been awarded the ISO 9001:2015 accreditation for our Quality Management System since Sept 2020.

LARU (Phase I) was opened in 2015 to cater for the need of increasing demand on Life Science animal research at CityUHK. In 2019, LARU Phase II was opened to cope with the significant increase of animal studies conducted at CityUHK. It currently serves over 40 faculty members and supports approximately 350 research staff and students across various departments.

We incorporate several measures to ensure optimal conditions for the health and well-being of animals, including air or wet shower entry, the use of sterilized autoclaved or irradiated feed, filtered and sterilized drinking water, steam-sterilized bedding, and microisolator caging (individual ventilated cage units). Additionally, all supplies and equipment undergo thorough disinfection, and caging equipment is subjected to strict barrier sanitation through cabinet washers. To maintain a clean environment, each area within LARU Phase II is equipped with HEPA filters and directional air flow. The facility operates on a sequence from clean to dirty, further safeguarding the research animals. Upholding animal welfare is a priority, and as part of this commitment, minimum cage space requirements have been implemented for all laboratory animals. To maintain a sterile environment, all animal users are required to change into sterilized gowns, gloves, masks, caps, and sterilized shoes, along with shoe covers. This precautionary measure helps minimize the risk of contamination and maintain a high level of cleanliness within the facility.

We have established a quarantine facility and implemented a sentinel monitoring program to facilitate the importation and exportation of animals. To ensure the health and well-being of the animals, our in-house veterinarian consultant conducts regular on-site inspections, maintains animal health report data, and provides guidance on importation/exportation matters. Additionally, we have a dedicated Biological Safety Level 2 (BSL-2) animal laboratory that enables researchers to work with level 2 pathogens related to infectious diseases. The BSL-2 lab is equipped with an independent HVAC system to ensure proper air circulation and filtration. It also includes an anteroom as a buffer area, self-locked doors that open one at a time, a portable autoclave for sterilization, a downdraft table for enhanced safety during procedures, as well as a designated area for surgeries and dissections.

LARU takes proactive measures to enhance the knowledge and skills of animal users through regular training workshops. These workshops cover essential topics such as animal husbandry and care, appropriate attire for working in the facility, safe utilization of equipment, and proper techniques for animal handling. Participants are trained in various skills, including animal restraint, sexing, oral feeding, and intra-peritoneal injection, ensuring they have the necessary expertise to work with animals effectively and safely.

A specific-pathogen free area is maintained by LARU technical staff for the centralized supply of wildtype and transgenic mice. This controlled environment helps to ensure the health and well-being of the animals housed within it. To facilitate research involving surgeries, LARU provides a dedicated surgery room equipped with advanced equipment. This includes a dissecting microscope with a digital video camera system for teaching purposes, a digital stereotaxic instrument for brain surgery and microinjection, an isoflurane anesthesia system, and downdraft surgery tables.

Furthermore, LARU offers Extra-Mural Studies placements for Veterinary (BVM) students during the summer as part of their BVM program. This opportunity allows BVM students to gain hands-on experience in animal husbandry, care, and research practices, providing valuable practical training in a real-world setting.

News & Announcements

9 Jul 2024Update of animal transportation policy