FEB 09, 2017 9:00 AM PST

Advances and challenges in laboratory rodent management in Chile: Our situation with emphasis in vivaria conditions, surgery, anesthesia and euthanasia

  • Animal Welfare Officer, Pontifical Catholic University of Chile
      Dr. Gimpel graduated as a Vet from the Universidad de Chile and, after a couple of years working with wild Southamerican camelids in the north of Chile, went to the UK where she did an MSc in Biointegrative Science and then graduated as a PhD at the University of Oxford. Her research there was about the effects of housing and husbandry on the welfare of laboratory primates using behaviour and non-invasive indicators of welfare.

      On her return to Chile she worked at the National Zoo implementing environmental enrichment and teaching animal behaviour and welfare at the Catholic University (PUC).

      Dr. Gimpel now works full time at the Medicine Faculty (PUC) where she is responsible for the welfare of animals used in research (rodents). She is in charge of the animal facility, as well as supervising compliance with the institution's animal care programme. She also teaches and trains students and PI's about animal use in research, both from an ethical and a practical point of view.

      She is a member of the Institutional Scientific Ethics Committee for the Care and Use of Animals in Research of the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile. In that role, she collaborates in the development of regulations to carry out the ethical evaluation and the implementation of project post approval monitoring. She is an active member of the Chilean Society of Laboratory Animal Sciences (ASOCHICAL) whose main objective is to improve standards of care and use of animals in research, taking animal welfare as central to their work.


    DATE: February 9, 2017
    TIME: 9:00am PT, 12:00pm ET

    The last few years have led to great progress in Chile in terms of laboratory animal care and use. There are new legal mandates to protect laboratory animals, and funding agencies now require all protocols to be evaluated by an ethics committee. Both academic and public institutions that conduct animal research have established ethical review bodies (IACUCs), and IACUCs come together for a yearly national meeting. A recent national survey evaluated rodent housing, in order to estimate the variability of vivaria conditions and their potential effect on experimental results. Some of these results will be discussed during this webinar. The second topic of discussion will be related to surgery: Among the experimental procedures performed on animals, surgery is perhaps at the top of severity levels. Before the existence of IACUCs in Chile, it was up to the researchers as to whether to use analgesics or not, as well as where  surgery should be performed, type of anesthesia, personnel conducting surgery and the level of asepsis, if any. Ethics committees must now be informed in detail of all procedures carried out with research animals: The surgical site, previous training of the person performing surgery, type and dose of anesthesia and analgesia, intra-operative support, post-operative care and daily monitoring of animals. In terms of anesthesia, there is progressive use of inhaled anesthesia due to technical advice from Vets and because researchers have realized that gas anesthesia equipment is an investment rather than a cost: mortality rates drop drastically when changing from injected to inhaled anesthesia.  Hands-on training surgical courses have become valuable tools to gradually change investigators’ outdated and tradition-based surgical practices. An additional effective measure has been to demonstration of evidence-based information: For example, necropsies performed on animals at the end of protocol to show the effect of poor aseptic technique in organs that were not the target of the experimental protocol, and hence go unnoticed too frequently. Lastly, emphasis has been placed on euthanasia methods: which methods are acceptable, acceptable with conditions and unacceptable. All of these advances require strong institutional support and the certainty that research quality improves when animal welfare is brought into the equation.   

    Learning Objectives:

    • Provide an overview of the main challenges and advances of animal research in a developing country with evolving regulations. 
    • Increase awareness of the need of standards’ harmonization  in laboratory animal research between developed and developing countries.

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    FEB 09, 2017 9:00 AM PST

    Advances and challenges in laboratory rodent management in Chile: Our situation with emphasis in vivaria conditions, surgery, anesthesia and euthanasia


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