Checklist: pay attention
What are the things you need to be mindful of during the study? The animals and your record-keeping. With clear records, everyone involved can find the information they need. A properly informed team is essential for high-quality research and education, as well as for optimal care for laboratory animals. Use the checklist Monitoring Animal Experiments to continue to comply with all rules and requirements and to monitor animal welfare.
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The licence has been issued and the experiment has been designed. Now that you’re conducting it, what do you as a researcher or instructor have to look out for?
- Make sure that the work protocol (+ appendices) is kept close to the animals.
- Go through the work protocol (+ appendices) with the whole team involved.
- Observe and care for the animals according to the work protocol (+ appendices).
- Make sure you perform all the procedures listed in the work protocol. Don't leave anything out.
- In case of unexpected discomfort, take action, after consultation within the team. In complex situations, contact us. Notate everything accurately in the welfare log, inform the team, and make sure the animal and the housing unit are recognizable.
- If an animal reaches a humane endpoint, follow the agreements in the work protocol. In case of doubt, contact us.
- Within two weeks of the animals’ arrival, have a colleague (researcher, animal caretaker, research analyst or animal technician) fill out the checklist monitoring animal experiments (CMD), or in education, the Checklist monitoring animal experiments for education. Keep the form in the study dossier. In this way you are prepared for an audit at any time.
- Plan in your calendar to repeat this check once every three months.
- Report any change to the licence using the modification form. Follow the correct route. If there is a hurry, contact us.
- After the experiment, fill out the Welfare evaluation and email it to email@example.com.
Download the practical Key points in animal experiments information card which you can add to your dossier or request for a free waterproof print (with holes for a ring binder).
Code of Practice for Monitoring Laboratory Animal Welfare
You are legally and ethically obliged to structure and conduct animal experiments in such a way that the discomfort experienced by the animals is limited as much as possible. To that end, it is vital that you monitor the animal's welfare carefully during the experiment. This will help you quickly notice unexpected discomfort and allow you to take measures to improve the animal's situation.
Agreements regarding the monitoring of animal welfare have been recorded in the Code of Practice for Monitoring Laboratory Animal Welfare. This has been developed by a number of experts involved in animal experiments and published by the NVWA. The code is an application of the legal requirements for dealing with laboratory animals. Following the code carefully will ensure that everyone involved in the organisation, review and conduct of animal experiments possesses the information they need.
Administration in order? Quick check
Is your research administration in order? And can it pass an audit by the Utrecht Animal Welfare Body or the Netherlands Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority (NVWA)? It is easy to check whether your administration is ready for inspection. Do a quick scan. If you answer 'no' to any of the questions below, then you should take immediate action to address the problem. If you would like advice on how to do so, please feel free to contact us.
- Is the humane endpoint properly formulated in the work protocol, and have agreements been made about how to react?
- Are animals with unexpected discomfort and their cages clearly marked?
- Have all 'unexpected discomfort reports' been added to the dossier?
- Has the description of how the unexpected discomfort was dealt with been added to the dossier?
- Are any of the mice/rats over 1 year old? If so, is the necessity of this described in the file?
- Are animals individually housed? If so, is this noted in the dossier, and is the reason for individual housing described?
- Has post-mortem research been conducted on animals that have died unexpectedly, and has a report on this investigation been included in the dossier?
- Have any issues of concern been raised by the Checklist Monitoring Animal Experiments? And if so, has the procedure to address them been recorded in the dossier?
Don't hesitate to request for an audit yourself. Mail us: firstname.lastname@example.org.