Linklater N, Weiss J, Heldmaier G, Exner C. - a trilingual approach to refinement through laboratory animal science (LAS) education. Paper presented at: The Three Rs - Together it's possible. 8th World Congress on Alternatives and Animal Use in the Life Sciences; 2011 Aug 21-25; Montreal, Canada


The welfare of animals used for research purposes depends on the professional competence of all personnel involved. High quality education in LAS lays the foundation that this competence is built upon as such courses that not only teach good scientific practice but help create awareness for the needs and the welfare of laboratory animals. Teaching in itself can be regarded as refinement as it ensures that the principles of the 3Rs are acted upon. However, no definite regulations regarding training programs are in place. Harmonizing LAS education would contribute to the welfare of animals by relating a common standardized set of minimum requirements, such as stated in the FELASA Guidelines, Annex V of the EU Directive 2010/63/EU or "The Guide". Language barriers might hamper the creation of such programs. A multilingual basic curriculum could help to further the harmonization process. Here we report on a trilingual online platform (EN/FR/DE) for teaching laboratory animal science ( Topics are based on the FELASA category B guidelines. Multimedia content, such as videos, animations and pictures help to prepare and review practical training, such as the zoom in section about rodent anatomy. Teaching content from a variety of sources can be easily imported and made available to the LAS community. The platforms' availability in different languages and the integration of other countries' legal requirements pertaining to animal research make it accessible to a broader user group. Training as a means of refinement may not reduce the number of animals but directly impacts the animals' wellbeing.

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Link to journal: ALTEX - Alternatives to Animal Experimentation