The UCT Research Animal Facility prides itself in serving as an education and training hub for Africa in the fields of laboratory animal science and ethics. The UCT Introductory Course in Laboratory Animal Science, presented by Veterinary Scientific Services as a core component of the foundational training for scientists, has received international accreditation from FELASA – the Federation of European Laboratory Animal Science Associations – distinguishing itself as the only accredited course in Africa and one of only two such courses outside of Europe. The course is also accredited by the South African Veterinary Council (SAVC) and the UCT Faculty of Health Sciences’ Animal Ethics Committee (AEC).
The biannual course is broadly attended by 35 South African institutions, with international attendees from over 30 countries, including 17 African countries. The training is presented by an experienced team of veterinarians and veterinary specialists, veterinary nurses, laboratory animal technologists, veterinary technologists, embryo technologists, practical tutors and distinguished guest lecturers.
The 40-hour course provides a solid foundation in 23 hours of lectures that cover the basic principles that underlie the responsible and ethical care and use of animals for scientific purposes; in addition to cultivating a respectful, caring attitude toward animals during the 15 hours of practical training.
Attendance of the course (2016-2019)