The use of laboratory animals requires education and training of persons who are to design and/or perform animal experiments. It is essential for these persons to practice various procedures on live animals. Previous investigations of student evaluations have shown that students consider the theoretical knowledge of laboratory animal science and practical skills of great importance to the success of their future research involving animal experiments. Practical handling and procedures of the animals are among the topics that students appreciate the most and also request more practicing in. This is, however, in conflict with the general strive to reduce the number of animals in experimentation and in education, and there is thus a controversy between the wish for reduction of the number of animals used and the necessity of actually using them in education. Therefore, it is important to identify cases in which the use of live animals is necessary in teaching and training, and in which cases it is not. At our department, we offer courses that contain practical hands-on exercises in handling, injections, blood sampling and surgery, on live animals. Other exercises, in e.g. anesthesia and behavior, have successfully been replaced with video-based exercises, where the students assess animals that have been filmed. This strategy has turned out to be very successful. This presentation will describe the educational advantages and disadvantages of using live animals versus video-based exercises, give examples of how teaching with live animals can be carried out, to what extent video-based exercises can reduce the number of animals used, and how this strategy is perceived by the students. The presentation will also bring to discussion and give examples of how to assess learning outcomes and technical skills of the student’s in practical exercises with live animals.