There is no replacement for hands-on training by a competent instructor for learning new procedures in live animals, whether in a formal workshop or less formally from colleague-to-colleague.
Since each person who touches a research animal must be authorized to do so, the following guidance describes four compliant methods endorsed by the WF Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) for working with a trainer
- WF Animal Resource Program (ARP) staff as trainer. This includes ARP veterinarians and veterinary technicians and the Laboratory Animal Training Coordinator.
Add the trainer to your approved IACUC protocol. This includes WF researchers or external consultants
- Used for any type of procedure.
- These trainers do NOT have to be added to an IACUC protocol
Get a recommendation for a trainer from WF ARP veterinarians or the Laboratory Animal Training Coordinator. This typically includes WF researchers.
- Used typically for complex, research-specific procedures, such as a major or minor surgery, where the IACUC should review the trainer’s credentials.
- Trainer must be added to the personnel listed on the approved IACUC protocol.
Have the trainer verbally walk the trainee through the procedure. The trainer must refrain from direct contact with the animal in order to protect the trainer from infectious diseases that can be transmitted between humans and other animals (zoonosis).
- Used typically for minor procedures, when the person making the recommendation has direct knowledge of the trainer’s ability and adding the trainer to the protocol is impractical, e.g., learning from an experienced colleague down the hall how to draw blood.
- Involves an email communication from the veterinarian or coordinator to IACUC staff who will confirm that the trainer has been cleared by the Occupational Health Program for exposure to the species and will log a note in the approved protocol’s history.
- No personnel amendment to approved IACUC protocol regarding trainer is needed.
- Used for minor procedures in species with minimal risk of zoonosis, and when other methods are not available.
- Acceptable ONLY for common laboratory rodents (rattus, mus, guinea pigs, hamsters, gerbils, chinchilla), birds and swine. EXCLUDES dogs, cats, sheep, goats, cattle, bats, wild rodents, and nonhuman primates.
- No action regarding personnel on an approved IACUC protocol needed.
Other Important Considerations
- The trainee must be listed on the approved protocol at all times.
- There are no limits on training among personnel listed on an approved protocol.
- Training should be documented in the individual training logs of trainees and signed by the trainer.
- The use of animals for the sole purpose of training personnel to conduct a major or minor surgery must be described in a protocol. By contrast, training for minor procedures, such as blood draws, or incidental training that occurs during the conduct of research activities already approved in the protocol is allowed.