Central Animal Facility (CAF)

Central Animal Facility (CAF)

We are committed to facilitating and supporting experimental animal research at a high level of quality. Facility
We are committed to facilitating and supporting experimental animal research at a high level of quality.

The CAF is a facility of the UMCG where all animal experimentation is conducted. The CAF supports and facilitates research and education projects involving experimental animals. The CAF makes a recognisable and unique contribution to achieving the objectives of the UMCG and RUG

Our mission statement is: ''Professionally facilitate and support animal experimentation with optimal animal welfare control.''

We offer:

  • Advice and support, from planning up to and including the conduct of animal research focused on biomedical research and education;
  • Well trained and competent personnel who can assist you with various techniques varying from injections of compounds via all recognised methods and collection of tissue for further analysis up to complex surgical procedures;
  • Necessary basic infrastructure for surgical procedures. Fully equipped operating theatres, radiology room and area for sterilisation of instruments are available for academic research and industry;
  • Facilities for surgical product testing and evaluation and and instructional courses for instance for training of medical specialists;

Optimal services for Research

  • The Central Animal Facility offers advice and support from planning up to and including the conduct of animal research focused on biomedical research and education. For the housing of the different animal species we have state-of-the-art housing opportunities.

    • Support on experimental design
    • Guidance on the application at the CCD
    • Support on the preparation of study plans
    • Supply of most common laboratory animals and animal products
    • Anesthesia for small animals
    • Rodent surgery including microsurgery
    • Postoperative animal care
    • Drug administration
    • Blood/sample collection
    • Assistance in demonstrations and training courses
    • Units for breeding unique genetically modified rodent strains
    • Units for housing animals in experiment
    • Isolator-unit: gnotobiology for small animals
    • Safety units for radioactive and toxic agents
  • The Central Animal Facility has specialized rooms where different laboratory animals are housed

      • Units for housing and breeding unique (non) genetically modified rat and mouse strains.
        • SPF (Specific Pathogen Free)
        • SOPF (Specific and Opportunistic Pathogen Free)
        • IVC (Individual Ventilated Cages)
        • Isolators (Germ Free)
      • Facility for housing, breeding Zebrafish and Killifish and performing experiments
      • Housing and Experimental unit for Guinea pigs
      • Housing and Experimental unit for Rabbits
      • Housing and Experimental unit for Hamsters
      • Isolator-unit: gnotobiology for small animals
  • Research groups are performing experiments in the CAF in fundamental, clinical, and translational research. The animal experiments carried out cover a wide spectrum of research lines in many disciplines. For example:

    • Healthy Ageing
    • Cardiology
    • Pediatrics
    • Surgery (transplants)
    • Radiology
    • Oncology
    • Neurology
    • Pharmacology
    • Nuclear Medicine
    • Biomedical Engineering

More important information

  • Our facility is accessible for internal and external researchers. We provide support from approval, AWB protocol, training and education and PRIS (laboratory datamangement)

    For new requests please read the route to Approval.

  • Information about the application procedure for experiments with animals can be found below. For conducting an animal experiment you need to have an approved CCD application (Central Authority for Scientific Procedures on Animals; in Dutch: Centrale Commissie Proefdieren).

    1. Download the CCD forms from the CCD website .
    2. Send the complete project proposal to the Animal Welfare Body (AWB) of your faculty.
    3. When applying for a CCD project license, the following documents must be supplied:
      • Application for project license for animal experiments
      • Non-technical summary (NTS)
      • Project proposal
      • Appendix (s) description of animal experiments
    4. The researcher (art. 9 authorised and known by the AWB) sends the complete project license application to the AWB of the faculty where the researcher works.
    5. The AWB will process the application, check for completeness, send the application to the toetsingskamer and will respond within 10 working days.
    6. The researcher must coordinate the application with the AWB. Depending on the complexity and stage of the application, this can be done orally, by e-mail or by telephone.
    7. In the meeting with the AWB, the comments of the AWB are discussed on the basis of the "afstemmings"-document. This document also includes the comments from the toetsingskamer.
    8. The researcher adjusts the documents if necessary and sends them to the AWB.
    9. The NTS is sent by the AWB to the Buro Communication of the RUG.
    10. Buro Communicatie coordinates the NTS with the researcher and if approved, this is sent back to the Animal Welfare Body (AWB.
    11. With the approval of the AWB, the complete application can be sent to the CCD.
    12. The institution's license holder formally submits the application to the CCD and receives the invoice from the CCD for the applicant to pay the fee.
    13. The CCD sends the project license application to a DEC (Animal Ethics Committees; in Dutch: Dier Experimenten Commissie). This is usually the DEC listed on the application form
    14. The DEC assesses the scientific and ethical aspects of the project application, sends questions to the researcher in the event of ambiguities and ultimately advises the CCD.
    15. The CCD (possibly after asking questions to the researcher) permits or rejects the application.
    16. Correspondence from the CCD goes to both the researcher and the contact person of the license holder.
    17. After obtaining the license, the animal experiment is documented in AWB protocol(s).
  • The researcher whose AWB protocol is discussed, takes part in the AWB in the role of scientist. If necessary the AWB will ask experts for advice (eg radiation expert, statistician, animal handler, genetic engineer, specialist in the field of research, etc.). They may be present at the AWB meeting when the experimental protocol is discussed. This composition of the AWB is in accordance with the revised Law on Experiments and is the result of inter faculty-consultations. The CAF and animal welfare officers expect that the joint discussion will contribute to a good start and progress of animal experiments and improvement of animal welfare. When the animal experiment is finished, a second meeting will be held in which the output of the animal experiment as well as the welfare of the animals is evaluated.

    An approved CCD license is the starting point for the AWB meeting.

    Members of the AWB:

    • Persons responsible for supervision on the welfare and care of the animals in the facility
    • Scientist
    • Possible other expert
    • Designated veterinarian

    The AWB acts on behalf of the RUG/UMCG to oversee legal supervision of the performance of animal experiments and the welfare of laboratory animals, in accordance with the Animal Experimentation Act. The AWB is available via email and several contact persons. Download the CCD forms from the CCD website.

    Organisationally, the AWB falls under the CAF. The AWB is composed of staff members of the CAF, veterinarians, bio-technicians, and one or more scientists. If necessary, the group is supplemented by a statistician, or other specialists.

    Tasks

    The Animal Welfare Body has a large number of tasks that we conduct on behalf of RUG/UMCG. These tasks are largely prescribed by law in accordance with the provisions of the Experiments on Animals Act.

    • The most important of these tasks include: Giving advice to personal who are working with animals regarding animal welfare, ordering, housing, care taking and the use of animals.
    • Giving advice to personnel regarding article 1d of the law on animal experiments regarding replacement, reduction and refinement of animal experiments and informing of technical and scientific development of this regulation.
    • Care, implementation and verification of internal procedures regarding control, reporting and follow up with respect to welfare of the housed animals. The AWB follows the developments and results of projects with respect to the effects on the used animals and analyses elements that contribute to replacement, reduction and refinement of animal experiments.
  • The CAF teaches various courses, i.e., the practical part of obtaining the art. 9 and art. 12 authorisations (in collaboration with the Animal Welfare Officers), a laparoscopic course (via the Wenckebach Institute). In addition, several microsurgery courses are taught.

    Course on Laboratory Animal Science

    (ex. Art.9 Experiments on Animals Act, Felasa A and B accredited)

    This course is designed to train participants in accordance with the requirements of Article 9 of the Experiments on Animals Act and is compulsory for anyone involved in the design and implementation of laboratory animal testing.

    The course is composed of basic modules and a species-specific modules. The qualification earned is essential for those needing to determine independently how animal experiments should be conducted. The course is available to participants who have completed a Master’s degree in a relevant medical/biomedical area or hold an appointment as an MD/PhD student. In consultation with the participant, the species-specific module may be taken at another location. The species-specific modules for the most common laboratory animal species mouse and rat are routinely offered by the University of Groningen.

    Frequency

    The course will be organised three times a year: in January, June and September.

    Course schedule 2021

    • Course 1: January 18th-February 5th 2021
    • Course 2: May 31st-June 18th 2021
    • Course 3: September 6th-September 24th 2021

    Deadline for registration is 1 month prior to the start of the course.

    Study load

    4 European Credit points

    3 Day Microsurgery Course

    The CAF offers a 3 day microsurgery course for PhD students, animal technicians and researchers who are certified to work with laboratory animals.

    The course covers the basic concepts of instrument handling, tissue handling, suturing and knots, making vascular anastomoses and the use of the operating microscope. The course is three days long, the third day being dedicated to the training of specific techniques, the first two days include training in microsurgical skills relevant to complete a patent micro-vascular anastomosis.

    The next course will be scheduled on demand.

    To enroll or for more info, please contact Annemieke van Oosten at a.van.oosten@umcg.nl

    Techniques taught:

    • Use of the operating microscope
    • Suturing techniques
    • Dissection techniques (femoral artery and vein)
    • Performing end-to-end and end-to-side anastomoses (rat)
    • Techniques on request (rat and mouse)
  • PRIS (in Dutch: ProefdierRegistratie en Informatie Systeem) is the laboratory datamangement system for animal experimentation used at the Central Animal Facility of the UMCG. The system supports the entire cycle of a research project: from the research question involving animal experiments to the implementation of these experiments and the registration of generated data (for example the complete breeding administration). In addition, financial data, invoicing information and management data is generated as output.

    Authorisation

    Every researcher registered at the Animal Welfare Body of the CAF can get access to PRIS. Please send the request for an account to the infodesk of the CAF.

Contact

Central Animal Facility
University Medical Centre Groningen (UMCG)
Ant. Deusinglaan 1
9713 AV Groningen
The Netherlands

Animal Welfare Body: cdp-ivd@umcg.nl
Course on Laboratory Animal Science: cdp-cursus@umcg.nl