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The Laboratory Animal Facility
Personell and competence for animal reserach

Training in Laboratory Animal Science

According to the Regulation on the use of animals in research (Norw: “Forskrift om bruk av dyr i forsøk”) everyone involved in planning, performing, taking care of or killing animals must as a minimum fulfill training program in accordance with Appendix E of the regulation. Mattilsynet clearly stated that it is the singel reserchers responsibility to keep his/her CV updated.

Mus og rotter
Photo:
E. Sennesth

The laboratory animal facility at UiB offers 3 courses in Laboratory Animal Science, in accordanse with the demands of Mattilsynet and the Appendix E of the Regulation on the use of animals in research (Norw: “Forskrift om bruk av dyr i forsøk”)

Lab Animal Science at UiB

By implementation of EU directive 2010/63 there will be a new classification system for personnel using animals in research. Demands to practical skills are only relevant for persons performing procedures on animals (group A).

Persons planning and designing experiments, but do not themselves perform procedures (Group B), must however know how procedures influence animal welfare and research result, but they do not need to demonstrate practical skills.

The EU commission has made a framework for education of persons using animals in research at different levels based on EU directive 2010/63 that you can download here.

Everyone that applies for access to The Animal Facility at UiB must first module 1 of the training (i.e. 301).

To apply for experiments in FOTS or participate in animal experiments you have to complete the whole training program (LAS 301+LAS302 or 303, or FELASA C course from another institution).

If you have training from another country, part of this might be approved, but still you need to go through a training program (including a test) focused on national rules and regulations.

What is Lab Animal Science?

Laboratory Animal Science is a multidisciplinary branch of science contributing to humane use of animals and collection of informative, unbiased and reproducible data.

It includes regulation, ethics, alternatives to use of animals, properties of the animals themselves, external factors that influence experiments and design and quality control of studies.

Who needs the courses?

Persons planning and designing experiments with animals («function B») must attend education equivalent to LAS 301 AND LAS 302 (rodents, pugs) OR LAS 303 (fish).

Persons performing procedures («function A») must, in addition to courses mention above work under supervision until they master the procedures they are going to use. Training must be documented.

For certain tasks there might be demands to task specific courses, for example for advanced surgery and anesthesia.

Persons that is only killing animals («function D») shall complete LAS 301 and supervised training in the killing methods they are going to apply.

Timing of training

  • Theoretical training must be completed before researchers get access to FOTS and can start to write for project authorization
  • Practical training of new applicants should be as close to project startup as possible to have practical skills fresh in mind and fingers.

When a new project is authorized training documentation is reviewed again in a “project start-up meeting” - to catch up changes since the application was submitted

Practical training

Requirements for technical skills apply only to those who will perform procedures on animals.

Practical training must be directed towards the species and procedures you plan to work with.

The aim of practical training is to get the knowledge and skills necessary to handle the animal with as little discomfort to the animal as possible, and thereby both prevent trauma for the animal and unwanted variation in research results.

Practical training should be as close to project startup as possible so you have your practical skills fresh in mind.

Practical training is not a part of LAS 301/302/303

  • Minimum requirements for practical training include
    • Safe handling of animals
    • Recognize pain and distress in animals
    • Humane killing of animals
    • Hygiene procedures and use of personal protective equipment

Persons that cannot document practical training must work under supervision until the master skills well enough not to cause unnecessary stress for the animals or anything that can bias the results of the experiments.

More information about practical trainin

Practical training on rodents is offered at Dyreavdelingen

  • Practical training on rodents is offered at Dyreavdelingen-UiB 1-1 or in small group (max 5-6)
    • Handling rodents
    • Restrain of rodents
    • Blood sampling in rodents
    • Injection techniques in rodent (im, ip, iv, sc) in rodents
    • Anesthesia
    • Euthanasia of rodents
    • Sexing of rodents
    • Dress code in the animal facility
    • Anesthesia – safety check of equipment
    • Preparation for sterile surgery
    • Training using alternative methods to animals

Training fee is 2000 NOK

Link to registration fo practical training at Dyreavdelingen

Practical training without use of animals is available on our alternative lab.

Procedure specific training - Surgery

In the case that an experiements include surgery - the reseracher must also be trained for this.

Training that must be documentet include:

  • Understanding the relevance and need for pre-operative assessment and conditioning.
  • The process of tissue healing
  • The importance of asepsis and hygienic practices
  • Wound creation, the principles of tissue handling and selection of a suitable surgical approach
  • Possible causes of delayed or impaired wound healing or other post-surgical complications
  • Preparation of personnel, animals, instruments and equipment for aseptic surgery
  • The principles of Halstead and indicate how to achieve these
  • The characteristics of different, commonly used instruments, suture materials and needles
  • The importance of good technique in accessing surgical sites, handling tissues and repairing incisions
  • The characteristics of different suture patterns and their applicability to different situations
  • Describe common post-surgical complications and their causes
  • The principles of post-surgical care and monitoring
  • The planning of surgical procedures and discuss the competencies required of all personnel involved
  • Particular aspects of care appropriate for animals before, during and after surgical or any other potentially painful intervention

For practical training in surgery

The candidate must emonstrate competence in surgical techniques, including ablations, and incisions, how to place a suture correctly

Training in basic surgical principles can be provided by the clinical veterinarian or by a senior fellow with expertice from the research group, or by an external training provider.

The animal facility staff follow the outcome of surgery especially with regard to recovery from anesthesia, need for analgesia and wound as well as other complications.

Procedure specific training - Anestesia

Some basic theory include

  • Define sedation, local and general anesthesia
  • Define balanced anesthesia and indicate that this is best achieved
  • Relate why and when sedation or anesthesia might be used for restraint.
  • List the factors to be considered in pre-anesthetic evaluation of animals
  • Choice of anesthetic agent.
  • Discuss the relative merits / drawbacks and principles of selection of different agents in relevant species, including injectable and volatile agents
  • Indicate the importance of minimizing stress prior to anesthesia
  • Recognize when premedication is beneficial
  • Describe and demonstrate the correct set-up, operation and maintenance of anesthetic equipment appropriate to the species concerned.
  • Evaluate and appreciate the different levels and planes of anesthesia and list the factors indicating that an animal is suitably anaesthetized
  • Describe methods of optimizing post anesthetic recovery
  • Demonstrate an understanding of safe / good working practices with regard to use, storage and disposal of anesthetic and analgesic agents.

Practical training in anesthesia is offered in smaller groups

Continous education

Mattilsynet expect that people that work with reserach animals are continously retrained at least every 3-5 year and whenever it is neccesary to master new technology and procedures.

LAS courses 2020 and registration

LAS 301 autumn semester 2020 (this course wil be held online using mitt.uib and zoom)

  • 1-7 September - selfstudies (mitt.uib)
  • 7-8 september - Lectures (zoom)
  • 8-15 September: Group work (mitt.uib)
  • 22 September: Exam (Electronic, Inspera)

Update course in LAS

Everyone involved in animal experiments have to maintain and document competence trough continuous practice and education. Dyreavdelingen organizes update courses in LAS, see Updated Course in LAS

Courses outside Norway

Persons with a FELASA C accredited certificate or equivalent from another county less than 5 years ago will get their education approved in Norway. However there is still a need to go through a training program with regard to national regulation and institutional rules. See this page.

Credits for courses

From 2016 courses get new course codes and study-credits.

LAS 301 (before 201): 6 stp

LAS 302/303 (before 202/203): 4 stp

Course fee 2020

The course fee for 2020 is 5300 NOK per course.