The challenge of FELASA accreditation courses in laboratory animal science for fish researchers
Adrian Smith, Laboratory Animal Unit, Norwegian School of Veterinary Science, Oslo
The organisation FELASA (Federation of European Laboratory Animal Science Associations, http://www.felasa.org) has made considerable efforts over the past 10 years to draw up guidelines for training courses in laboratory animal science. Adequate training is a requirement according to both the EU Directive 86/609 and the Council of Europe’s Convention ETS123. FELASA operates with 4 categories of personnel involved in animal research, covering technicians, researchers and laboratory animal specialists. FELASA has recently established an accreditation board which invites applications from institutions running courses in laboratory animal science.
FELASA’s guidelines are clearly influenced by the fact that they were written by specialists working predominantly with the traditional mammalian species. One of the major challenges when arranging courses is how to cater for the needs of participants using vastly different animal species in their research. There are clear ethical implications, particularly if these courses involve practical work, which may be irrelevant to some participants. Conversely, if all practical training is left to the individual institution, it is difficult to harmonise practice nationwide.
The aim of this presentation is to stimulate a discussion on how we can satisfy the requirements for teaching and training and at the same time ensure high ethical and scientific standards on these courses.