Information and registration for the Research Animal Training Scheme (RATS) run by the Animal Welfare and Training Unit

Research Animal Training Scheme (RATS)

2014 Training Program

  • Modules 1 and 2 are available at any time.
  • During 2014, all modules of the RATS program will continue to be offered free of charge.

Program objectives

The overall aim of this program is to provide researchers using animals with the knowledge and practical skills to ensure:

  • compliance with the legislation
  • humane animal use
  • ethical animal use
  • minimisation of risks associated with the use of animals.

Potential participants

Persons who are/will be working or studying in areas in which animals are used for research or teaching purposes (eg. under-graduate students, honours students, post-graduate students, and experienced researchers who wish to update their knowledge).

Presentation

The program consists of on-line learning, tutorials, seminars and practical sessions. Participants may participate in or attend all/any of the modules. However, it should be noted that some modules are prerequisites for other modules, and Module 1 must be completed before participation in any other modules.


Registration

University of Newcastle Staff and Students:

Complete the registration form (DOC 122 KB) and send to Trudi Wynne as indicated on the form.


Program Outline and Structure

Module 1: Introduction to the use of animals in research

Description Online course covering the legislative and institutional requirements governing the use of animals for research and teaching at the University of Newcastle, and the principles and practice of animal care and welfare.
Prerequisite Working or studying in areas in which animals are used for research or teaching purposes.
Availability This module is provided via UoNline (Blackboard). Once your registration details are received, you will be enrolled in the course and will have access to UoNline (Blackboard).
Dates From 24 January - 30 November 2014.
Assessment Online quiz which must be completed before proceeding to other modules.
Additional information This module is a prerequisite for Modules 2 - 6.

Module 2: Monitoring pain management & anaesthesia

Description Online course covering the monitoring of animal well-being, the assessment and management of pain and distress in animals, and the principles of anaesthesia.
Prerequisite Satisfactory results following completion of the online quiz for Module 1
Availability This module is provided via UoNline (Blackboard). Once your registration details are received, you will be enrolled in the course and will have access to UoNline (Blackboard).
Dates From 24 January - 30 November 2014.
Assessment Online quiz which must be completed before proceeding to other modules
Additional information This module is a prerequisite for Modules 3, 4, 5 and 6.

Module 3: Developing & using a monitoring check list

Description Seminar on how to develop and use an effective tool for monitoring the health and welfare of research animals.
Prerequisite Satisfactory results following completion of the online quiz for Module 1 and 2.
Date TBA
Time TBA
Venue TBA
Additional information This module is not a prerequisite for any other modules.

Module 4: Animal care, monitoring, handling & basic research procedures

Description Practical session involving:
  • Demonstration of basic animal care and handling, administration of substances (including injection techniques and gavage) and blood collection.
  • Interactive discussion on the monitoring of animal well-being.
  • Demonstration of the conduct of a post mortem.

All participants will have the opportunity to obtain 'hands-on' experience with the demonstrated techniques.

Prerequisite Satisfactory results following completion of the online quiz for Module 1 and 2.
Date Thursday 20 March 2014
Time 9.15am - 5pm
Venue Research Support Unit John Hunter Hospital
Additional information This module is a prerequisite for Module 5 and 6 however the number of participants for this module is LIMITED.
Morning tea is provided and lunch can be purchased from the hospital facilities.

Module 5: Principles of anaesthesia in rodents

Description Practical session demonstrating the principles and techniques involved in rodent anaesthesia.

Topics covered include: gaseous and injectable anaesthesia, pre-anaesthetic assessment, monitoring, assessment of anaesthetic depth and OHS issues associated with anaesthesia.

All participants will have the opportunity to obtain 'hands-on' experience with the basic techniques.
Prerequisite Attendance at Module 4 and fulfilment of all prerequisites for Module 4.
Date Thursday 27 March 2014
Time 9.15am - 5pm
Venue Research Support Unit John Hunter Hospital
Additional information This module is a prerequisite for Module 6 however the the number of participants for this module is LIMITED.
Morning tea is provided and lunch can be purchased from the hospital facilities.

Module 6: Surgery & aseptic surgical techniques

Description Practical session for researchers who will be performing surgery on research animals.

Areas covered include: instrument identification and use, aseptic technique, preparation of the animal, making incisions, handling tissues, haemostasis, choosing needles and suture material and suturing techniques.
Prerequisite
  • Attendance at Module 5 and fulfilment of all prerequisites for Module 5.
  • Introductory videos/DVDs. Prior to commencement of Module 6 participants must have viewed the introductory videos/DVDs on the 'Principles of aseptic surgery' and 'Laparotomy in the rat'. Copies are available to loan from:
    • Auchmuty Library - University of Newcastle (for use within the library only) or
    • Instructor for the course  - email Robyn Gentle.
Date TBA
Time TBA
Venue TBA
Additional information The number of participants for this module is LIMITED.
Morning tea is provided, lunch can be purchased from hospital facilities

Module 7: Applications to an Animal Ethics Committee

Description Tutorial on the completion of an application to an institutional Animal Ethics Committee, Assessment of applications by the Committee and the principle issues that must be addressed by the applicant.
Prerequisite Satisfactory results following completion of the online quiz for Modules 1 and 2.
Date:TBA
Time:TBA
Venue:TBA
Additional information Morning tea will be provided