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Alternatives to Laboratory Animals - ATLA

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Incorporating Animal Alternatives in a Training Programme in Laboratory Animal Care and Use


Sally Walshaw

Through the years, scientists and technicians, within their laboratories, trained individuals new to animal research. In the mid-1980s, new and revised laws/guidelines for animal research, including training, were instituted. The process of training scientists, technicians and students is recognised as essential for animal welfare and good science. Under the current and future revisions of the mandates, training must include specific topics. Training must include details of various regulations and guidelines, proper handling and care for animals, proper pre-procedural and post-procedural care of animals, aseptic surgical methods and procedures, proper use of anaesthetics, analgesics and tranquilisers, methods whereby deficiencies in animal care and treatment are reported, and a search for alternatives to the use of animals. Training individuals in clinical techniques (injection, blood collection, anaesthesia, etc.) is critical for humane treatment of animals, safety for the trainee and reliable animal data for the scientific project. Written materials about the clinical techniques should be provided at the training session, and training records must be kept.