Animal health and veterinary care

Veterinary care for laboratory animals is based on preventative health care. A veterinarian specialised in laboratory animals is responsible for animal health and welfare in KEKS.

Veterinary care includes:

  • Monitoring the health of the animals
  • Microbiological monitoring and other prevention of illnesses
  • Treatment of illnesses
  • Counselling on experimental and animal care procedures
  • Guidance in advancing animal welfare

 Microbiological health monitoring is an essential part of the preventative health care. Health monitoring for rats and mice is performed regularly in KEKS.


Regulations and guidelines about the veterinary care in laboratory animal establishments


Act on the protection of animals used for scientific or educational purposes (497/2013)

7 § Staff

The operator shall have a designated veterinarian for veterinary care and advisory duties relating to well-being and treatment of the animals. Where more appropriate considering the species of the animals kept or other similar reason, another suitably qualified expert may be charged with advisory duties relating to the well-being and treatment of animals. The designated veterinarian and expert shall have expertise in the use of animals for scientific or educational purposes.

23 § Veterinary care

The operator shall organise appropriate veterinary care for the control of the state of health, medication, treatment and advance prevention of illness and ensuring the welfare of animals kept in the establishment.

The designated veterinarian shall see to the veterinary care of animals and provide veterinary advice relating to the activity. The designated veterinarian shall draw up a veterinary care plan which shall include:

  1. a health care plan for advance prevention of illness in animals;
  2. plan on veterinary advice relating to the activity;
  3. plan on the acquisition and use of medicines used for the health care and treatment of illness in animals; and
  4. instructions concerning the reuse of animals.

The health care plan referred to above shall include:

  1. specification of the requirements set for animal welfare;
  2. regular monitoring of the health and welfare of animals;
  3. where necessary, a microbiological surveillance programme;
  4. plan for dealing with health and welfare problems;
  5. actions for isolation and quarantine of animals introduced to the establishment; and
  6. hygiene practices relating to disease prevention.

24 § Advice relating to welfare and treatment of animals

The designated veterinarian shall provide guidance, advice and assistance in:

  1. monitoring the welfare of animals;
  2. design and performance of procedures on animals;
  3. care of animals after procedures;
  4. matters relating to the welfare of animals and promoting it as well as the facilities, care and environment of the animals;
  5. returning of animals to a suitable husbandry system, rehoming or release to a suitable habitat; and
  6. other tasks in which expertise in the welfare of animals is needed.


FELASA (Federation of European Laboratory Animal Science Associations) working groups:

Recommendations for the health monitoring of rodent and rabbit colonies in breeding and experimental units, 2014

Guidelines for the veterinary care of laboratory animals, 2008

Last updated: 30.12.2016