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Tips for animal usage in labs

Updated on October 22, 2012

Animals usage in labs is inevitable in present scenario for scientific up growth, knowledge, assessment of quality etc. But this usage is regulated and is under the control of animal welfare departments and also the concerned institute undertaken the work on animals.

Lab animals are used for either testing a specific drug, chemical or product prior to its use on humans for its safety, efficiency, body compatibility etc.

Or else they are used to improve certain qualities in them by process of breeding to get animals of better and desired qualities. This includes improved production of milk in cattle, egg in poultry, meat in pigs and birds, appearance and resistance in dogs, cats, birds etc.

They are also used to get products of biotechnology by recombinant DNA technology (rDNA) like vaccines, proteins (insulin) etc.

What ever is the purpose with lab animals, steps to minimize the pain and suffering to the animals and indispensable safety to humans is to be concerned besides success in the experimentation.


Courtesy: flickr commons
Courtesy: flickr commons

Tips to be followed

For animals:

♣ Obtain animal ethical permission prior to procurement of animals and follow NIH rules in their up keep and maintenance.

♣ House in well cleaned, illuminated and ventilated rooms with air condition.

♣ Avoid spread of infection by isolating the infected ones and use of UV screens etc.

♣ Avoid pest infestation by use of pest collars or insect repellents.

♣ Give proper diet to provide complete nutrition and ad libitum water supply.

♣ Touch, pat and fondle the animals often to keep them humble and human friendly.

♣ Use of small animals instead of big ones saves cost, maintenance and also waste out put.

♣ Animal dead among a group should be discarded immediately and change remaining ones into a fresh cage.

♣ Take care to see that they don't fight and kill each other (in case of rodents).

♣ If by chance animal delivers, it should be isolated to a new cage or place along with its litter.

♣ Keep a watch on mass epidemic or any other rival animals (like cat for rat and mice).

For Humans:

♣ Always use hand gloves, face and nose masks during handling.

♣ Dead animals are to be incinerated for local hygiene.

♣ After completion of animal work, wash your limbs and face with soap.

♣ Don't eat, drink or smoke during animal handling.

For Experimental success:

♣ Always procure animals from same vendor.

♣ Use standard animals feed for nutrition as it keeps them physically fit for experiment.

♣ Discard any unhealthy animals from experimental groups.

♣ Maintain uniform conditions like temperature, light, time of work etc.

♣ Use sterile devices like needles, scissors etc. in work on lab animals

♣ Use more animals to minimize statistical errors and increase reliability of results.

All the best :-)

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