Programme info

Micro-Credential: Laboratory Animal Science - Fish - Function ACD

Course content

PhD students, researchers, professionals, and post-graduate students often need knowledge, insights, and skills in how to care for and perform procedures on fish in an optimal way, allowing them to perform their research while ensuring animal welfare. Having a valid certificate is mandatory for working with laboratory animals. This micro-credential provides an opportunity to obtain all legally required competences and skills (related to EU Functions A, C and D) on fish as laboratory animals. This course can only be followed if a student has first followed a course that offers the EU core modules. The course has been accredited by FELASA (Federation of European Laboratory Animal Science Associations) and obtaining a credit for this course will result in an internationally accepted FELASA certificate, provided that a credit has also been obtained for the Laboratory Animal Science Core course.

Learning outcomes

This micro-credential focuses on the following learning outcomes:

1. The participant can describe basic fish biology (anatomy, physiology, reproduction), behaviour, husbandry and the interplay between these elements.

2. The participant demonstrates a thorough understanding of how a fish facility is maintained. The participant can describe how environmental and housing conditions are selected and monitored taking into account specific requirements for different fish species, age, and life stage including genetically altered animals. This includes husbandry practices and routines, breeding programmes, dietary and enrichment considerations and handling and transport from an animal welfare perspective.

3. The participant can discriminate between normal fish condition and behaviour, and signs of pain, suffering, or distress. The participant can apply a severity classification system, assess cumulative severity and use humane endpoints in research involving fish.

4. The participant can handle and restrain a fish without causing distress or harm and can perform the most frequently used minimally invasive procedures without anaesthesia in fish.

5. The participant can describe and demonstrate the correct set-up, operation and maintenance of anaesthetic equipment appropriate to fish, and list the factors indicating that an animal is suitably anaesthetized. The participant can also explain the techniques and material needed for injection, dosing, and sampling for fish.

6. The participant knows the principles of humane killing and can proficiently and humanely carry out humane killing using appropriate techniques on fish with attention to differences between life stages.

7. The participant can discuss potential sources of disease in the animal facility, can recognise examples and can describe the life cycle of some common laboratory animal disease organisms.

8. The participant can report in writing, in English, on animal experiments involving fish, both in terms of experimental design description and as a non-technical summary.


Dries Knapen, Gudrun De Boeck, Steven Van Cruchten, Chris Van Ginneken, Lucia Vergauwen