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If I had a testis for every time I got a phone call or an email asking if I can supply rats we’d never be out of stock.
Raising and euthanasing whole animals has never been my thing and thinking about all the paperwork involved with licenses and permits and animal ethics approvals just about puts me into a bureaucratic coma.
Consequently the short answer is – “No, we’ don’t supply rats, sorry.” Miss Vivi is, however, very happy to recommend Southern Biological in Victoria and Pisces Enterprises in Brisbane as suppliers of rats for dissection. They both come highly recommended by lab technicians we personally know and love – and trust to know where to go for the good stuff.
Another question I get asked is “Do you know where to get toads?” and invariably my reply is “Do you know any 13 year old boys?”
A little bird tells me, though, that the demand for rats for science in Australia is so great that everyone is having trouble getting enough. So there is a lovely little niche sitting there just waiting to be filled by someone who is willing to have a go at it. Sounds like a job for a labbie to me.
UPDATE MAR 2014: We now supply cane toads ethically euthanased via CO2 asphyxiation in accordance with the latest method endorsed by Biosecurity Queensland. Dissection Connection no longer endorses the use of rats or mice sourced from the pet food industry as no ethical or health standards are applied to the practices of the breeders or suppliers.