EZO-32303 Laboratory Animal Science: Design and Ethics in Animal Experimentation


Credits 3.00

Teaching methodContact hours
Group work2
Course coordinator(s)A Terlouw
Lecturer(s)prof. dr. ir. J Komen
drs. RJM Steenmans
Examiner(s)drs. RJM Steenmans

Language of instruction:


Assumed knowledge on:

The applicant shall have acquired knowledge on the basic subjects of biology up to 18.75 credits (= 500 study hours) including at least 7.5 credits on anatomy/zoology and 7.5 credits on physiology. These terms of admission are in accordance with the formal requirements of the Dutch responsible authority.
Successfully passing e.g. EZO-10306 Human and Animal Biology I and HAP-20306 Human and Animal Biology, part 2 and EZO-31306 Vertebrate Structure and Function; meets these requirements.


Note: This course has a maximum number of participants. The deadline for registration is one week earlier than usual. See Academic Year. (http://www.wageningenur.nl/en/Education-Programmes/Current-Students/Agenda-Calendat-Adacemic-Year.htm) -> Registration for Courses.

Dutch Law requires that animal experimentation is carried out by properly trained people. For researchers this implies that, on top of a biological or biomedical university degree, a so-called Article 9 certificate is needed. The course 'Laboratory Animal Science (LAS)' given in Wageningen leads to such a certificate, when the course is fully attended (two weeks) and the exam is successfully completed. The LAS course entails scientific, ethical and practical aspects of animal experimentation. The main purpose of the course is to enhance a positive attitude towards animal needs and well-being.

Learning outcomes:

The participant has a critical and analytical attitude towards the scientific knowledge underlying Laboratory Animal Science related activities. The participant demonstrates the ability to assess her/his scientifically based knowledge and skills. From a participant, who successfully passed the course, one can expect that he/she:
- is familiar with legislation concerning the use of laboratory animals;
- knows about basic principles, which guide towards the ethical judgment of animal experiments;
- knows about the possibilities and limitations of alternative techniques;
- has knowledge of the requirements of laboratory animals with respect to housing, nutrition and care;
- possesses the necessary knowledge for responsible animal handling and also obtained some practical experience in this respect;
- has taken note of the different methods for the collection of body fluids;
- has taken note of a number of other frequently used experimental techniques (amongst others cannulation, insertion of catheters);
- possesses the knowledge to recognize pain as well as discomfort in laboratory animals and to define humane end points;
- has knowledge of the most important methods of anesthesia, analgesia and euthanasia, which can be used in various laboratory animal species;
- has knowledge of the possible impact of environmental and procedural factors on experimental results;
- has knowledge of the importance of hygienic measures and barrier systems;
- has knowledge of the impact of diseases in laboratory animals on the experimental approach and knows about possible health monitoring;
- knows about the specific demands that are necessary for a correct preparation and performance of animal experimental techniques and research;
- knows the possibilities that statistics can offer to optimize the use of laboratory animals;
- has knowledge of literature search methods, a.o. meta-analysis and synthesis of evidence, for example systematic reviews


- compulsory participation to lectures and practical class;
- active participation to project learning and literature study.


- written test with 7-9 open questions with several sub questions, and 4-14 multiple choice questions (75 %);
- two group assignments (25%).
The minimum mark for the written test is 5.5 and for the assignments 5.0.


A study guide, synopsis of lecturers, handouts of recent papers and handouts for laboratory class work.
The course textbook in Dutch (less expensive than English copy):
Zutphen, L.F.M. van, V. Baumans & F.Ohl. (2009). Handboek Proefdierkunde. proefdieren, dierproeven, alternatieven en ethiek. Uitgeverij Elsevier gezondheidszorg, Maarssen. Vijfde druk. ISBN 9789035229815.
The course textbook in English:
Zutphen, L.F.M. van, Baumans, V. & Beynen, A.C. (2001). Principles of Laboratory Animal Science: A contribution to the humane use and care of animals and the quality of experimental results. Elsevier Science Publishers, Amsterdam, 2nd ed. revised. ISBN-13: 978-0444506122.

Restricted Optional for: MBIBiologyMSc4AF, 6WD
MASAnimal SciencesMSc4AF, 6AF
MNHNutrition and HealthMScC: Molecular Nutrition and Toxicology4WD, 6WD
MAMAquaculture and Marine Resource ManagementMSc4AF, 6WD