Group work 24 May at the meeting "Harmonisation of the Care and Use of Fish in Research"

Guidelines and procedures:  do we have what we need?

  1. What guidelines do YOU have in YOUR research in relation to
    -transport of fish
    -blood sampling
    -killing of fish
    -other handling procedures
    -general guidelines for "care and use" of fish  
  2. Do we have the guidelines that we need?  
  3. Why is it often difficult to compare results from different fish trials / tests?
    How can we establish research standards and models to better harmonise fish research and thereby improve opportunities to comparison of results?
  4. Why is Good Clinical Practice so important?  
  5. Vaccines with sparse side-effects in experimental trials may still cause serious side-effects in a fish farming situations? Why is that?


Notes from Group C

 1. & 2. Focussed on guidelines for training procedures

  • Easier to harmonise theoretical teaching (databases of questions) than practical training, particularly if it is forbidden to use animals in that training! 
  • Differences between lecturers and inspectors, can be ironed out by networking 
  • Video-taping procedures helps 
  • Online courses or templates help 
  • Can't demand that a standard set of techniques are used. 
  • Aim for guidelines on best practice 
  • Publishing techniques can be a problem.  
  • Make better use of the traditional lab animal literature and web publishing (followed up by refereed articles).

3. Comparison of results between different trials

  • Fish cell cultures may act very differently from mammalian cells 
  • Experiments are often notoriously difficult to repeat even in the same species: stress status, water parameters, diurnal rhythms 
  • Journal of Negative Results.   Do we also report weird results (aren't we interested in basic research into the unknown?) Have we considered what the experimental unit is?

Who should make the guidelines?

  • FELASA?  ECVAM? In collaboration with national authorities? 
  • Harmonisation is not standardisation.
    Standards change. 
  • Regulatory demands change, REACH is an example. 
  • Transparency and discussion is vital.  Some form of central control.
    Many are afraid of peer criticism.

A common problem:

  • Lack of funding, not lack of interest on the part of the scientists (at least not those present here!) 
  • We must document literature searches when applying for permission to do animal research.  
  • Personal contacts & email groups help. 
  • Scientists need education in searching the literature.

Tip: Lab Animal Europe had articles on fish facilities and surgery recently.

This page was updated on 05 July 2023

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