Useful online training tools and 3Rs resources to be used during COVID-19 pandemic


New mouse-handling methods

Laboratory mice are routinely handled for husbandry and scientific procedures. Traditionally mice are initially picked up by the base of the tail, sometimes with a hand positioned to support the animal’s body. Picking up mice by the tail can compromise their welfare and affect scientific outcomes. Research has shown that picking up mice by the tail induces aversion and high anxiety levels, as assessed by a range of measures, which can be minimised by instead using a tunnel or a cupped hand. As well as having animal welfare benefits the research, led by Jane Hurst at the University of Liverpool, has shown that picking up mice by the tail can impact on scientific outcomes, with mice handled by tunnel and cupping methods showing improved performance in behavioural tests compared to traditional tail handling. The research has since been replicated by other groups, who have shown that the method of handling can affect physiological parameters and behaviour, including the response to reward. The 3RCC contributed to the German translation of the poster. You may order posters in German and French by sending a message to chantal.britt[at]swiss3rcc.org.

Find more information about mouse handling and watch tutorials on NC3Rs website.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the NC3Rs offers different e-learning resources, experimental desing resources and for example information on housing and husbandry


How to tickle a rat: get your certificate!

At the Gaskill lab at Purdue University, scientists conduct research to better understand the best methods to improve rat welfare. One of their areas of focus is rat tickling. Rat tickling is a technique that was developed to study play and positive affect in laboratory rats. It mimics rat rough-and-tumble play using a human hand. Typically it involves using your hand to “wrestle” with a rat in a playful manner. Tickling improves handling, minimizes fear, and can act as social enrichment. Tickling is also fun for the handlers and can increase personnel satisfaction! increase their positive approach behavior, reduce rat fear, minimize negative effects from negative procedures such as transport or injection, may decrease handling time, increase personnel satisfaction, and act as social enrichment for isolated rats. Rats prefer to be tickled than stroked by their human handlers.

Check out the tutorial and training videos on website of Purdue University and take the rat tickling certificate course available.

Quick slide presentation in English, German, French, credit Megan LaFollette, Purdue University


3R Smart provides training material in German

The 3R Smart is an information and training platform, which addresses interested laymen as well as scientists and technical staff. The project is funded by the German Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and coordinated and developed by the University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover Foundation and the Philipps University Marburg.


Radboud's Syrcle offers online modules on how to conduct systematic reviews

The SYstematic Review Center for Laboratory animal Experimentation (SYRCLE) envisions a world in which any animal-based research conducted is justified, rigorous and of high translational value. Our mission is to develop, apply and disseminate the methodology of systematic reviews of animal studies to advance responsible animal-based research.


Norecopa resources for home learning

Norway's National Consensus Platform for the advancement of the 3Rs suggests resources which may be suitable for schoolchildren and undergraduate students undertaking home learning in connection with the Covid-19 pandemic. Emphasis has been placed on products which are available online, thereby avoiding the need for purchase of equipment.


Research Animal Training offer e-learning modules

A collection of educational resources to support you when studying for a Home Office Licensee PIL AB or PIL C course. Resources are also provided to support some of the training needs of those applying for a Project Licence.

The articles and eLearning modules on this site align with the learning outcomes specified for each EU training module. Some learning outcomes require practical tuition and this should be provided in person to you. Further information for course attendees, a listing of the eLearning modules currently available, a website feature listFAQ page and some example screens .


Berlin Institute of Health's educational resources

Around the world, many researchers have found themselves in self-isolation, and are unable to continue performing lab-based studies. However, this can be an opportunity to learn and expand professional and scientific horizons. We have created a list of resources to help you make the best of this strange and challenging time, and increase the quality of your research in the future.


Resources of the Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics

SIB experts and resources are taking part in the global effort to develop dedicated data services, analysis tools and improve knowledge sharing to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.

Find a list of tools on a dedicated website of the SIB.


American Society for Cellular and Computational Toxicology webinars

American Society for Cellular and Computational Toxicology holds webinars on new animal-free testing methodologies. The webinars are available for all to attend and watch at no cost. However, after the event the videos are only available to ASCCT members.


Johns Hopkins CAAT offers range of non-animal resources

Johns Hopkins University's Center for Alternatives to Animal Testing (CAAT) offers a range of programs that seek to provide a better, safer, more humane future for people and animals.

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