degree program in laboratory animal science and welfare in Barcelona and Madrid that lasts two years. Sweden also has a two-year master’s degree at Uppsala. Thus there is quite a variety in the training of laboratory animal science specialists.
In Europe, veterinarians have a special legal responsibility and professional obligation, especially in treating animals with medications, using anesthesia, or administering analgesics, all of which are not permitted to any other profession. However, from a regulatory perspective, there are differences among countries as to how much veterinary involvement is permitted in animal experimentation aside from the requirements for medications or prescriptions and anesthesia. These differences are apparent going from west to east in Europe, with some of the new countries in the EU being rather undeveloped in the field of laboratory animal medicine.
Programs for FELASA Category D based on veterinary training or in veterinary medicine are in Italy, Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. Again, there is inconsistency in the requirements of the various programs. In Italy, a diploma in laboratory animal science takes three years, while in Belgium it takes only two years. In Germany, the program is provided through the veterinary boards and training in approved institutions and takes three to four years; the four-year program is for laboratory animal science or laboratory animal medicine, while the three-year program is for animal welfare, which is also accepted under Category D. In the Netherlands the program is one and a half years, in Norway three years, Spain two years, Sweden two years, Switzerland four years. The United Kingdom has a two-tiered approach, with a certificate in two years and the diploma provided by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons in five years.
ECLAM was established in 2000 and in 2008 received permanent recognition by the European Board of Veterinary Specialization, which is our governing and controlling group, to which we must report directly. The founding of the College was an initiative of ESLAV and covers everything important in laboratory animal medicine.
The leadership of ECLAM identified the issues important to the organization and proposed initiating discussion on including ethics in addition to improving animal welfare in order to make these issues permanently a part of the organization’s goals.
ECLAM has established guidelines for examination and qualification of veterinarians for diplomate status. Although the examination is difficult, those who pass are highly qualified to direct a program in laboratory animal medicine.
ECLAM encourages research and promotes the communication and dissemination of knowledge in the field of laboratory animal medicine. The European Board of Veterinary Specialization has required training programs to be four years long, at least two and a half years of which should be under the supervision of a diplomate. There are 23 different veterinary specialty colleges and all are expected to have minimum standards.
The alternate training program takes two more years, but again two and a half years under the supervision of a diplomate. There are currently eight pro-