Abelson K. Reducing the number of animals used in teaching and training of graduate students and scientists - possibilities and limitations. Paper presented at: The Three Rs - Together it's possible. 8th World Congress on Alternatives and Animal Use in the Life Sciences; 2011 Aug 21-25; Montreal, Canada


When educating graduate students and scientists that are supposed to independently design, conduct and perform animal experiments (FELASA category C persons), it is essential for the students to practice various procedures on animals. Previous investigations have shown that animal handling and procedures are among the topics that students of this category appreciate the most and also request more practice in. This is, however, in conflict with the general striving of reducing animals in education. Thus, it is highly important to identify in which cases the use of live animals is necessary, and in which cases it is not. At our department, we offer FELASA accredited category C courses that contain practical hands-on exercises in handling, injections, blood sampling and surgery, where live animals are used. Practical exercises in anesthesia and behavior, however, have been replaced with video-based exercises, where animals have been filmed. This has turned out to be very successful, and this presentation will describe the educational advantages of this strategy, how it has been perceived by the students, and to what extent it has reduced the number of animals used. The presentation will also bring to discussion the possibilities and limitations of replacing live animals in general, when teaching FELASA category C persons. 

Author's contacts: klasab@sund.ku.dk

Link to journal: ALTEX - Alternatives to Animal Experimentation