Course Laboratory Animal Science


Course leader: Thea Thougaard Johansen

Language: English

Graduate school: Faculty of Health

Graduate program: BIO

Course fee: 9,000.00 DKK

Status: Course is open for application

Semester: Fall 2024

Application deadline: 15/08/2024

Cancellation deadline: 29/08/2024

Course type: Classroom teaching

Start date: 16/09/2024

Administrator: Lena Melchior


The course will be passed by 80% attendance and a successful written application to conduct an animal experiment.

You will be placed on a waiting list on registration

On registration, participants will be placed on a waiting list. If there are more applicants than seats, Course leader will decide who gets a seat when application deadline is reached.

The courses B100/46 Basic Laboratory Animal Science is being offered by the Graduate School of Health, Aarhus University, 2024.

Criteria for participation: University degree in medicine, dentistry, nursing, or Master’s degree in other fields and/or postgraduate research fellows (PhD students and research-year medical students).

Requirements for participation: In principle none, but the course should be relevant to your PhD-study, research year (medical students) or other laboratory work that require basic knowledge of laboratory animals.

Aim: To give the participants understanding of the basic principles in laboratory animal science. The course is obligatory for persons, who wish to participate in research using laboratory animals, either by carrying out procedures on animals (EU category A) or euthanize animals (EU category D). The course is designated as an EU function A/D course according to the EU Directive 2010/63 and EU Article 23.2 (previously category B by the Federation of European Laboratory Animal Science Associations). The course gives an introduction to practical and theoretical handling, housing and using laboratory animals and how to replace, refine and reduce the use of live animals for research (3R).

Having completed the course it is expected that the student has the following:

Knowledge: The student knows - the legal basis for the acquisition, husbandry, care and use of animals for scientific purposes. - Basic principles on ethics in relation to human-animal relationship, intrinsic value of life and - arguments for and against the use of animals for scientific purposes. - Basic and appropriate species-specific biology in relation to anatomy, physiological features, breeding, genetics and genetic alteration. - Basic knowledge on animal behaviour, husbandry and enrichment. - Species-specific methods of handling and procedures - animal health management and hygiene (mice, rats, swine). - Recognition of species-specific distress, pain and suffering of most common laboratory species (mice, rats, swine). - Basic principles of animal anaesthesia- and killing (mice, rats, swine). - The principles of replacement, reduction and refinement in performance of animal experiments.

Skills: The student is able to - approach, handle/pick up and restrain an animal and return it to its cage/pen in a calm, confident and empathetic manner such that the animal is not distressed or caused harm. - Proficiently and humanely carry out euthanasia using appropriate techniques on relevant species of laboratory animals. - Demonstrate how death is confirmed and how cadavers should be processed or otherwise disposed of. - Select and explain the best methods for common procedures (such as blood sampling and application of substances) including route/volume/ frequency as appropriate. - Demonstrate that s/he can handle and restrain the animal in the best position for a given technique. - Perform minor techniques under supervision, in a manner that does not inflict unnecessary pain, suffering, distress or lasting harm to the animal.

Competencies: The student is able to - obtain practical information on how to handle and perform simple procedures in the most common laboratory animals - explain the basic principles on when and how to use animals for research - reflect over the ethical basis for the use of animals for research.

Learning outcomes: The participants should obtain basic knowledge about the Laboratory animal science, which will make it possible for them to participate in research contributing to the humane use of laboratory animals ensuring high standards of animal welfare and quality in the performing, evaluating and reporting of laboratory animal experiments.

  • Insight into Danish legislation concerning animals used for scientific purposes, the ethical aspects working with laboratory animals as well as the principles of the 3 Rs
  • Basic insight into the biology of laboratory animal, including normal/abnormal behaviour, housing, breeding, welfare and feeding
  • Basic insight into occupational health and safety when working with laboratory animals
  • Practical experience with handling and euthanizing laboratory animals as well as minimally invasive injections and blood sampling techniques
  • Basic knowledge of anaesthesia for minor procedures in common laboratory animals

Workload: The full workload of the course is expected to be 50 hours.

Content: The course will provide didactic and hands-on training in the use of laboratory animals. The lectures will include legislation, ethics, biology, behaviour, welfare, and husbandry of common laboratory animals. Insight will be provided in basic anaesthesia for minor procedures and euthanasia methods as well as occupational hazards and laboratory animal allergy when working with laboratory animals. Furthermore, alternatives to laboratory animal use including refinement, reduction and replacement will be covered.

Instructors: Internal staff including Thea Thougaard Johansen (AU), Kathrin Hinz (AU), Anja Brinch Riber (AU), Grethe Elholm (AU), Anders Fick Thomsen (AU), Mette S. Herskin (AU), Line Kollerup Oftedal (AU), Karina Vestergaard Nielsen (AU), as well as PhD students.

Venue: Aarhus University, Aarhus.

Participation in the course is without cost for:

Course dates:

  • 16 September 2024 08:00 - 16:00
  • 17 September 2024 08:00 - 16:00
  • 18 September 2024 08:00 - 16:00
  • 19 September 2024 08:00 - 16:00
  • 20 September 2024 08:00 - 15:00