DYR202 Laboratory Animal Science

Credits (ECTS):10

Course responsible:Mette Helen Bjørge Müller

Campus / Online:Taught campus Ås

Teaching language:Norsk

Course frequency:Annually. Theoretical teaching in the autumn semester (1st semester), and practical training in the spring semester (internal practice in 2nd semester).

Nominal workload:30 hours x 10 credits = 300 hours. We expect the students to work with colloquium assignments and prepare for the exam in addition to the scheduled programme.

Teaching and exam period:Fall and spring

About this course

The course laboratory animal science will give the students basic knowledge about the use of animals in research, and increased understanding of ethical issues and the legislation related to laboratory animals. Further, the course will give insight into how research with laboratory animals is planned and implemented in the best possible way.

Total 6 weeks (4 weeks theory + exam + 2 weeks practical internal training in 2nd semester). The course is approved when both the theoretical and practical part of the course are approved.

Learning outcome

After completing the course, the students should:

  • Have knowledge about the legislation within the field.
  • Be able to explain general ethical aspects and animal welfare issues related to research in  laboratory animals.
  • Understand the principle of "the three Rs" (reduce, refine, replace).
  • Have knowledge about the main criteria needed to apply and get permission to perform animal experiments.
  • Be able to explain the biology, housing and feeding of laboratory animals.
  • Have knowledge about genetical qualities, and related advantages/disadvantages.
  • Be able to explain the labeling methods recommended for the different species.
  • Be able to explain environmental factors that are important for animal welfare and standardization of experiments.
  • Understand the main principles that support the choice of method for handling, injections and blood sampling of laboratory animals.
  • Understand the main human health risks related to working with laboratory animals and how we can minimize these risks.
  • Have knowledge about specific conditions that apply to production animals and wild animals in a research setting.
  • Have knowledge about which methods/preparations are used for anesthesia and analgesia in laboratory animals.
  • Be able to explain which methods are used/recommended for humane euthanasia of laboratory animals.
  • Know about how we can assess pain in laboratory animals and how humane endpoints are determined.
  • Have knowledge about the main infectious diseases that can occur in laboratory animals.
  • Understand how health monitoring is carried out and why this is important for ensuring the quality of the experiments.
  • Have knowledge about alternative methods for research in laboratory animals that exsist and those that are being developed.
  • Know about what quality assurance systems and regulations for internal control that apply to a laboratory animal facility. 
  • Know about possibilities and tasks related to accreditation.
  • Know about how the Norwegian Food Authorities and the laboratory animal environments interact and how animal welfare organizations excert influence.

After the practical part the students should be able to:

  • Perform clinical examination, handling, fixation and specific techniques (methods for injection, blood sampling and euthanazia) on laboratory animals according to the manual for practical training.
  • Know routines for husbandry, care, hygiene and health security and environment (HSE) in a laboratory animal facility.
  • Teaching methods and approach:

    The teaching consists mainly of lectures, videos ,quiz, colloquium assignments, discussion groups and visits to different laboratory animal facilites. The lectures the first week can be held together with the veterinary students.

    The practical training (2 weeks internal in 2nd semester) in care of laboratory animals, cleaning and other daily routines that apply to operating a laboratory animal facility, as well as specific techniques (injections, blood sampling and humane euthanasia) according to the manual for the practical work.

  • The course teachers will be available for guiding the students related to the topics covered in lectures, colloquia and practical teaching. In addition, the teachers will be available to answer questions via email, telephone or alternatively by personal meeting during normal working hours by appointment as far as it is possible during the course weeks. 
  • The previous courses in the study programme
  • Multiple choice exam after the first course week, available on Canvas for a week. Pass/fail. The criteria for passing is 50%.

    Oral exam on the last two days of the last course week. Information about the examination and schedules will be given at Canvas. The exams will be given individually with 30 minutes preparation time, without litterature. The examination will last for 20 minutes with examinator and external sensor present. Graded assessment.

    Both exams must be passed individually for the course to be approved and to get the credits. Total evaluation of the course is graded A-F.

    If there are uncertainties related to the evaluation of the final grading of a student, the score from the multiple choice exam may be taken into account when the final grade is set.

    The 2 weeks of practical training is mandatory and must be passed.

  • The multiple choice exam are automatically corrected in Canvas. Both internal and external sensors will attend the oral exam. The results will be published 3 weeks after the oral exam.
  • The lectures are not mandatory.

    The visits to the laboratory animal facilities are mandatory. Absence requires a medical certificate. 

    Multiple choice test at Canvas is mandatory. 

    The 2 weeks of practical training is mandatory and require active participation. The manuals for the practical training contain the mandatory activities that requires approval to have the course approved. If a student is absent, the training must be performed with one of the other groups or if possible, separate weeks will be arranged for the students who need to perform mandatory training due to previous absence. 

  • No requirements for own equipment.
  • The first two course weeks include lectures and visits to different animal facilities. Some lectures may be given together with the veterinary students. The last 2 weeks of the course include lectures, group work, self-studies and preparation for the exams.
  • B-DYR
  • FDYRLD04
  • The course is only available to students enrolled in the study programme for veterinary nurses at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine at NMBU.