According to the legislation that took effect in 2013, a laboratory animal establishment has to have an animal welfare body. In KEKS, animal welfare body includes the veterinarian as the chairman, the director, chief technicians of the animal units and researcher members. The duties of the animal welfare body are:
- To advise, inform and educate researchers and animal care staff in matters related to animal welfare and the three Rs
- To review and develop animal welfare monitoring, reporting and follow-up processes
- To monitor the severity of procedures performed on animals and the assessment of severity
- To make a plan of setting free or rehoming animals after their use in experimental procedures
The animal welfare body is overseen by the provincial veterinary officer, and its activities must be documented.
Animal welfare body in action in KEKS:
- The director of KEKS and the designated veterinarian scrutinize project licence applications together with researchers before the applications are submitted. Special consideration is given to possible welfare problems and their prevention and minimization.
- A project commencement meeting between the study group and KEKS staff is held before starting each new project. In the meeting, all procedures that will be done to the animals, their follow-up and care, managing possible welfare problems and humane endpoints are discussed. Good cooperation and communication between the researchers and animal care staff is ensured in the process.
- Practical guidance about experimental procedures and animal welfare is offered to the researchers and technicians whenever needed.
- Animal welfare - and 3R-related training events are organized yearly for both KEKS staff and researchers.
- Animal technicians check all the animals every day. In addition, welfare monitoring is intensified for animals in experiments as agreed in the project commencement meeting or if a need for increased monitoring is otherwise noticed.
- The veterinarian makes regular rounds in the animal rooms and checks up on specific problem cases whenever needed.
- Welfare problem cases are reported in the Provet animal data system as soon as they are noticed. The animal technician, researcher and veterinarian together decide on the required action, which is also recorded. After the project, the researcher enters in Provet the actual severity classification for each animal separately. Thereby the severity of procedures and the assessment of severity can be monitored project-wise.
Last updated: 30.12.2016