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Personnel Involved With the Care and Use of Experimental Animals


A. Certification numbers

  • All principal investigators and research staff (faculty, technical staff, post docs, graduate students and undergraduate students) at Dalhousie University who conduct research, teaching or testing using animals must have certification numbers that are assigned after successful completion of a written test.
  • This also applies to any instructors for courses using animals, even if they are not the principal investigator listed on the protocol.
  • Animal Care Staff also require certification numbers.

Exceptions

Certification numbers are not required for the following personnel:

  • Undergraduates handling animals under supervision as part of a course. 
  • Research personnel that may be listed on the protocol but don’t handle animals.  (i.e. staff who prepare injections or process samples, but don’t have contact with live animals.)
  • Investigators using non-cephalopod invertebrates. Non-cephalopod invertebrate users listed on the Animal Protocol will be instructed to read the CCAC’s Core Stream modules.  They may also attend the course “Introduction to Laboratory Animal Care” that covers the same material.  However, they are not required to write the certification exam. 

Exam requirements

Different exams have been developed to reflect a range of training requirements. The certification exam written should be relevant to the type of research being done; this will be determined upon consultation with the Training Coordinator. Certification exams may be written after attending an Introductory Course or after reviewing the relevant material on the CCAC website.

Some personnel may write a modified version of the basic certification exam in order to receive a certification number. This includes:

  • Principal Investigators who hold protocols for teaching purposes where all animal work is done by Animal Care Facility Staff: They are required to write the “Ethics” certification exam in order to receive a certification number (i.e. the PI on an ATLS or Endoscopy Workshop protocol). Participants in these courses are not required to do the exam or have a certification number.
  • Animal Care Staff must successfully complete the “Ethics” certification exam and receive documented training in Occupational Health and Safety as soon as possible after being hired. They must write the complete certification exam within six months of hire. Practical training should include basic handling and humane restraint methods for the species being worked with as well as training in specific experimental manipulations as needed.

Exams

  1.  Introduction to Laboratory Animal Care (Basic/Biomedical)
    • CCAC modules 1-12.
    • For animal users conducting research, teaching or testing using laboratory animal, companion animal farm animal species and laboratory birds
    • 30 multiple choice questions
  2. Introduction to the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals (Ethics)
    • CCAC modules 1-3
    • The modules covered in the “Ethics” certification exam are:
      i) Guidelines, Regulations, and Legislation
      ii) Ethics in Animal Experimentation
      iii) The Three Rs of Humane Animal Experimentation
    • 12 multiple choice questions
  3. Introduction to the Care and Use of Wildlife
    • CCAC modules 1-3 plus Wildlife Guidelines
    • For animal users conducting research, teaching or testing using wildlife species in the field
    • 30 multiple choice questions
  4. Introduction to the Care and Use of Fish
    • CCAC modules 1-3 plus Fish Guidelines
    • For animal users conducting research, teaching or testing using fish
    • 30 multiple choice questions

For more information regarding exams please contact Dr. Jennifer Devitt.

Introductory courses

These half-day courses cover the ethics of animal use as well as basic husbandry concerns and research issues for a variety of animal models used in research, teaching and testing. Content is based on the material outlined in the CCAC Recommended Syllabus.

  1. Introduction to Laboratory Animal Care
    • An Overview of CCAC’s "Core Topics for an Institutional Animal User Training Program”, Modules 1-12
  2. Introduction to the Care and Use of Fish
    • An Overview of CCAC’s “Core Topics for an Institutional Animal User Training Program”, Modules 1-3”
    • An Overview of CCAC’s Guidelines on “The Care and Use of Fish in Research, Teaching and Testing”
  3. Introduction to the Care and Use of Wildlife
    • An Overview of CCAC’s "Core Topics for an Institutional Animal User Training Program" Modules 1-3
    • An Overview of CCAC’s Guidelines on “The Care and Use of Wildlife”

For more information regarding courses please contact Dr. Jennifer Devitt.


 B. Practical training

  • Everyone who is handling animals is required to have documented training. For people handling animals for the first time, or using a different species, it may mean attending a workshop on basic handling skills and recommended blood collection and injection techniques.
  • Workshops will be offered on a regular monthly basis. Generally, there will only be a maximum of 8 participants in a workshop.
  • Individual training sessions will be available as needed or when a training need has been identified.

Practical training workshops

  • The Mouse: Recommended Technical Procedures
  • The Rat: Recommended Technical Procedures
  • Introduction to Anesthesia
  • Introduction to Aseptic Surgical Technique
  • Introduction to Fish in Research

For more information regarding practical training please contact Dr. Jennifer Devitt.