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The modular structure of vtk online is guided by the current recommendations of the EU for education and training for animal research. The background to this structure is the set of recommendations on training in laboratory animal science that were drawn up when the EU animal protection directive (Directive 2010/63/EU) was implemented. These recommendations provide for the requirement that anyone who performs functions as defined in Art. 23(2) of the Directive possesses certain core competencies before they are permitted to exercise the functions in question.
It is envisaged here that, by broadening the personal qualification profile, it will be possible to take on additional functions. The possibilities for exercising the function “Planning and designing procedures” are restricted, however, because a university degree is required for this function.
For a summary of the content, please click on the (i) symbol of the module concerned. Please login with your professional email address for access to the individual modules. Not registered yet? Please set up an account [here] using your professional email address. Use of vtk online ist free of charge.
If you want to know more about the modular structure, please read up on it [here]. We shall also be happy to answer any questions you may have. In this case, please use our contact form or send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Introduction to animal welfare legislation
The C 01 module covers national animal welfare legislation for Germany and Switzerland (EU Core Module 01). Topics so far include an introduction to EU animal welfare legislation, the German Animal Welfare Act and the associated rules of procedure, as well other areas of law and a chapter on the Swiss Animal Welfare Act.
Introduction to basic ethical principles relating to animal experiments and the 3Rs - refinement, reduction and replacement
Module C 02 presents the basic discussion topics on the problem area of animal experiments and the concept of the 3Rs coined by Russell and Burch. A focus of this module is on the web links and information material concerning alternative and supplementary methods.
General and species-specific biology of laboratory animals
Module C 03 here includes both general and species-specific content on the physiology, breeding, anatomy and behaviour of laboratory animals as well as their use in research. A summary of animal-specific biology, husbandry and methods can be found, broken down by animal species, in our additional modules (A).
General and species-specific information on the husbandry of laboratory animals
Module C 04 includes general and species-specific content on the husbandry of laboratory animals. This encompasses enrichment, hygiene, health, nutrition, handling and identification. A summary of animal-specific biology, husbandry and methods can be found, broken down by animal species, in our additional modules (A).
General and species-specific content concerning constraints on laboratory animals
Module C 05 comprises general and species-specific content on the evaluation and assessment of the constraints on laboratory animals, as well as pain, suffering and damage.
General and species-specific content on euthanizing laboratory animals
Module C 06 includes both general and species-specific content on methods of euthanasia in keeping with animal welfare, the humane endpoint and the disposal of animal cadavers. A summary of animal-specific biology, husbandry and methods can be found, broken down by animal species, in our additional modules (A).
Presentation of minimally invasive methods and their implementation.
Module F 07 contains examples of methods for which the laboratory animals do not need to be anaesthetized. After an introduction on the handling of the animals, the content encompasses both the methods of administration and sampling such as blood and tissue (biopsies). Here, too, the focus is not only on general content, but also on species-specific particulars. This following module presents only blood sampling methods that are routinely conducted without anaesthesia. Blood sampling methods for which anaesthesia is required can be found in in Module A 02.
Ethical questions on animal experiments and alternative and supplementary methods
Module F 09 covers the content from Module C 02 in more depth. The module addresses primarily people who plan and design projects. It includes two detailed articles on the ethics of animal experiments and the various subject areas of the 3Rs.
Approach, database search and biometric planning study in the context of the application
Module F 10 addresses the steps to be taken before the actual animal experiment, i.e. database search and planning of the research project, including calculation of the number of animals needed. With reference to the German application form for permission to conduct animal experiments, basic knowledge on the biometric planning of experiments is presented. The module is aimed primarily at people responsible for planning and designing the project.
Content on anaesthesia and analgesia for minor procedures in laboratory animals
Module T 20 presents content on analgesia and anaesthesia for minor procedures in laboratory animals.The module also includes basic principles of the pharmacology of analgesic and anaesthetic substances. In addition, dosing examples and routes of administration in the various animal species are presented with reference to values reported in the literature. In cases of doubt, a veterinarian or experienced colleague should always be consulted.
Content on anaesthesia and analgesia for surgical or lengthy procedures in laboratory animals (advanced)
Module T 21 presents content on advanced analgesia and anaesthesia procedures in laboratory animals.The module also includes information on the pharmacology of analgesic and anaesthetic substances. In addition, dosing examples and routes of administration in the various animal species are presented with reference to values reported in the literature. In cases of doubt, a veterinarian or experienced colleague should always be consulted.
This module includes all the information from Module T20 plus extensive facts to be borne in mind in surgical procedures with regard to anaesthesia, analgesia and pharmacology.
The module contains basic information on the approach to surgical procedures
This surgery course offers an introduction to the instruments and different methods of wound closure. It is designed raise awareness of the procedures that ensure optimum surgery and wound healing. Surgical procedures in animals are explained with reference to examples. Not only the preparation and procedure itself described, but also the postoperative care. Completion of Modules T 20/21 is a precondition for Module T 22.
Summary on the historical context of animal experiments
Aristoteles, Bantham and Claude Bernard – over the centuries, they and others have contributed to our understanding not only of nature and life processes, but also of the philosophical and ethical or moral issues involved. In this module you will learn about the background to animal experiments, animal welfare and the development of laboratory animal science.
Blood sampling procedures that sometimes require anaesthesia
Module A 02 presents common blood sampling methods. The main emphasis here is on correct procedures, which is why the module not only covers the collection of samples and the instruments needed for this, but also focuses on the species-specific particulars.
Introduction to genetically modified animals (GMAs)
The main focus of Module A 03 is on the methods that are important in establishing a genetically modified mouse line. This includes embryo recovery, transfer and storage, the incorporation of genes by microinjection, the vasectomy of male mice and cryopreservation.
Collection of telemetric data in animal experiments
Module A 04 presents parameters that can be collected by telemetry and discusses advantages and disadvantages of different methods (e.g. implantable versus external telemetry). By way of an example, the correct procedure for the implantation of a transmitter for measuring core body temperature is explained.
This chapter is currently undergoing revision. The contents are so far only available in German and English.
Presentation of methods used for animal-friendly data collection
Module A 05 presents non-invasive methods that are used in different areas of animal research. This includes, for example, imaging procedures or measurements of energy consumption (calorimetry). Depending on the experimental design, these methods may have to be combined with procedures that could be classed as a constraint on the animal (e.g. anesthesia). This must be borne in mind.
Species-specific summary of the learning content from the various modules
In the hamster module, all the content on the hamster is compiled in a single module. The design of the module is guided by the structure of the core modules, activity modules and task modules.