During the 2015 SAALAS Education & Training Workshop, the Designated Veterinarian Working Group was established (LAV-WG). The working group was mandated with establishing the needs for training of Laboratory Animal Veterinarians (LAV) in South Africa (SA), including the needs of veterinarians currently in the field. The LAV is responsible for rendering veterinary services to animals used in research and teaching, train researchers in veterinary procedures and staff involved with daily care of animals so that animal welfare and the 5R’s (replacement, reduction, refinement, respect and responsibility) are considered in animal research. The LAV also ensures that research animal facilities are compliant with national and international laws and regulations.


The working group designed a survey that was sent out in December 2016/January 2017 to establish the training needs, and subsequently presented the results of the survey at the 2017 International SAALAS Conference held in Stellenbosch, South Africa November 2017. The working group will use these results to establish a training mechanism for LAVs within the country. At present the working group requires passionate volunteers to assist with the process.


In addition to this, the working group established a WhatsApp group for veterinary related discussions. All SAALAS members who are veterinarians are welcome to join the WhatsApp group. The aim of the group is to build a sense of community, supporting one another and sharing information about advances in the field.


The working group aims to develop CPD content specific to Laboratory Animal Sciences (LAS) for veterinarians. Webinars, articles and such platforms are being explored.


If you are passionate about animal wellbeing, training the future generations of veterinarians, developing a supportive community in LAS or just interested in being involved, please join SAALAS and contact the chairperson of the working group – Dr Tamsyn Fourie (tamsyn@lasvet.co.za).

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