University of the Free State UFS Animal Research Centre

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University of the Free State UFS Animal Research Centre

University of the Free State UFS Animal Research Centre – check below:

Who is the Animal Unit?

The University of the Free State (UFS) Animal Unit provides a service to university departments in need of laboratory animals. Animals and facilities are used for under- and post graduate teaching, diagnostic purposes and research. This service is traditionally rendered to departments in the Faculties of Agriculture, Health Sciences and Natural Sciences.

The Animal Unit, on the Bloemfontein Campus of the UFS, is part of the School of Medicine in the Faculty of Health Sciences.

The Animal Unit, provides a service to university departments in need of laboratory animals. Both animals and facilities might be used for under- and postgraduate teaching, diagnostic purposes and for research.

Specialised facilities include: A wide spectrum of animals, ranging from conventional laboratory animal species such as rodents, gomorphs, small carnivores and primates, to farm animals (sheep, goats, chickens and pigs) can be housed.

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Smaller species are maintained in environmentally controlled rooms (not barrier-maintained) situated in our main building, while dogs, cats, baboons and the larger farm animals are kept at one of the satellite facilities on campus.

  • An operating theatre for surgical procedures, the magnitude of which might vary from minor endoscopic procedures to open heart surgery;
  • Isolators used for the efficacy testing of vaccines against contagious galliform diseases; and
  • A gamma camera, maintained by and run under the auspices of the Department of Medical Physics, for studies involving radioactive tracers.

All specialised procedures (surgery, pathology, haematology, genetics, etc.) are performed by qualified personnel on the staff of the university department concerned. Only trained and qualified Laboratory Animal Technicians (LATs) are employed to carry out animal husbandry, handling and care. LATs are, as required by legislation and governing bodies, registered with the South African Veterinary Council. A LAT is assigned to every study performed at or under the care of the Animal Unit.

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Veterinary care is always available through one of the consulting private veterinarians used by the institution.

The care and use of any non-human vertebrate – should it be for teaching, research, diagnostic purposes, or to fulfil statutory requirements for testing or collecting data on any substance or product – are under the direct control of the Management Committee for Experimental Animal Research. The responsibilities of the latter ethics committee comply with the prescriptions of all relevant legislation and regulations. These are:

  • The stringent preview and review of all proposed animal studies;
  • Ensuring that the right animal models are chosen;
  • Enforcing codes of practice with regard to animal care and studies;
  • Ensuring that scientific, moral, ethical, legal, and institutional requirements are met;
  • Ensuring that the researcher is adequately qualified to perform the proposed study; and
  • To monitor the progress of experiments.