Personnel working with the animals needs to have followed an adjusted education and is obligated to follow permanent training routines at least on a yearly basis.
Animal caretakers who are responsible for the elementary caretaking of the animals (cleaning and disinfecting rooms, cages and containers; providing bedding material, water and food to the animals; transporting animals; handling animals) need to have followed a theoretical education of at least four hours.
Animal caretakers who are responsible for the special caretaking of the animals (post-operative care; monitoring the optimal environment of the animals; competent assistance in the euthanasia of animals) need to follow an education of 25 hours theory and practice with testing.
Persons who carry out the animal experiment need to have followed an education of at least 40 hours with testing of knowledge.
The experiment leader, which is the researcher responsible for the animal experiment, has to follow a basic course in laboratory animal science of 80 hours. This course is also provided by our university. The following topics are extensively discussed in the course:
- Introduction and history of animal experiments
- Ethics of animal experiments
- Alternatives in animal experiments (principle of the 3Rs)
- National and European legislation
- Biology of the different species used in animal experiments
- Reproduction (techniques) and genetics
- Pathology in experimental animals and health screening and management
- Procedures and good laboratory practices
- Management of health risks (hygiene, safety of personnel, waste management,…)
Thereafter, all personnel is obligated to follow permanent training at least once a year.