To perform daily procedures from cage changing to surgeries, PHENOMIN teams follow good practices. Our permanent staff undergo continuing training to keep top-level skills, newcomers are trained using a tutoring system. We also use different tools available on the web:
PHENOMIN creates genetically modified mouse and rat lines in its facilities. In this context, we have developed standardized tools to evaluate the phenotypes of newly created lines in our housing conditions. Our animals are travelling with their welfare assessment informations when transferring to another PHENOMIN facility or when being distributed all over the world.
The tools used by PHENOMIN teams have been designed following recommendations edited by the European Expert Working Group on Severity Assessment.
The welfare assessment is performed at different ages, specifically at early stages to evaluate any neonatal death (https://www.nc3rs.org.uk/it-starts-very-beginning-importance-neonate-assessment, PHENOMIN's Embryos viability test) and during ageing, as age has such a huge impact on animal studies (https://www.nc3rs.org.uk/impact-rodent-age-study-outcome).
In order to respect animal welfare and prevent any unnecessary pain and suffering, PHENOMIN teams are using scoring systems to follow ethical endpoints.
For instance, PHENOMIN and its Ethics committee have developed a pain scoring sheet based on different criteria such as appearance and behavior (see fig. below; Body score evaluaton: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/229438758).
The Mouse Grimace Scale is also wide spread in our facilities to quickly check on animal health.
PHENOMIN provides different specific trainings to help research teams in learning new skills: breeding colonies, imaging, phenotyping… as routinely performed in PHENOMIN sites.