Laboratory Animal Resources and Care (LARAC)

The Laboratory Animal Resources and Care (LARAC) unit is based at the College of Veterinary Medicine but serves as a resource for both MSU AAALAC-accredited facilities: College of Veterinary Medicine and College of Arts and Sciences.  The LARAC Facility Manager is responsible for the management oversight of the College of Veterinary Medicine research and teaching animal facilities, the personnel who provide animal husbandry and the fundamental program of animal care for animals used in biomedical research and teaching.  Additionally, the Manager collaborates with the lab operations supervisor at the College of Arts and Sciences to ensure that the animal until in Harned Hall is maintained according to regulations.  Reporting to the Facility Manager are two Team Leaders, each of whom have responsibility for managing full-time personnel and student workers and for providing animal care and husbandry.  The animal care staff provides daily animal care and husbandry and minor facility maintenance.  All members of LARAC have, or are pursuing, advanced certification through the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS).

Functions of LARAC

  • Observation of all animal usage to monitor compliance with IACUC approved protocols, and all state, federal and accrediting laws, and organizations
  • Daily husbandry of animals owned by clients and by MSU; includes feeding, watering, and daily cleaning
  • Cleaning and sanitization of animal housing (stalls, rooms, caging, pens, fish tanks, etc.), and hallways
  • Provision of enrichment and exercise for MSU owned animals
  • Retrieval and return of animals maintained on MSU property as requested by faculty for teaching, clinical or research purposes
  • Transportation to procure or return animals originating in non-MSU facilities
  • Procurement and stocking of adequate animal facility supplies (feed, hay, chemicals for cleaning and sanitization, cleaning implements, etc.)
  • Management and operation of the two cage washers at CVM and one at the College of Arts and Sciences
  • Minor research facilities repairs; oversight of animal facility equipment; general maintenance of pastures and support areas
  • Daily observations
  • Record keeping
  • Animal ordering and intake processing for all CVM and College of Arts and Sciences research animals