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1st-ever training held on humane care and use of lab animals | Qatar University

1st-ever training held on humane care and use of lab animals

LARC workshops engaged 23 trainees

The first-ever training program on the humane care and use of laboratory animals held on January 5-18 by the Laboratory Animal Research Center (LARC) drew twenty-three trainees from the Center, Biomedical Research Center and the colleges of medicine, arts & sciences and pharmacy.

The aim of the program was to engage trainees in a general understanding of the regulations and responsibilities in the use of laboratory animals for research.

Attendees participated in in-classroom theory and hands-on learning led by LARC director Dr Hamda Al-Naemi and LARC operational services manager Dr Vijay Kanth.

The theory course was obligatory for students and researchers who intend to use Center facilities, regardless of previous training. It covered a range of issues related to animal research such as national and international laws and policies, ethics, occupational health and safety, zoonotic diseases, and rodent housing and husbandry. Participants also learned about personal safety inside LARC facilities, the importance of personal protective equipment (PPE) requirements, and how researchers can access LARC facilities for their research. Also highlighted were details on the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC).

The hands-on course was for personnel who would be handling live animals at the Center. It covered working with BS60 biosafety cabinets, proper handling of rodents in terms of blood collection, euthanasia and necropsy techniques, and bio-waste disposal.

“It is our obligation to help researchers and students to be trained and certified to use the laboratory animals at the Center in a humane and responsible manner,” Dr Hamda said.  She added that the use of animals in research and teaching is a privilege, carrying with it unique professional and moral obligations for all personnel and students involved in animal research to follow standardized and safe laboratory practices to ensure that all animals involved in research are treated humanely and in accordance with national as well as institutional policies.

Participants were awarded course completion certificates by QU Acting VP for Research Dr Darwish Al-Emadi who said that the training was necessary because the quality of research and the welfare of laboratory animals have everything to do with the capacity and competence of the people who play active roles in the care and use of animals and related research.

Dr Hamda noted that with the participants rating it as excellent, the workshop was a very good first-start as it demonstrated the readiness of the Center to offer high quality in-house training at reasonable cost.