Tuesday, 21st November 2017
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ANIMAL TECHNOLOGIST

Animal technologists are assistants who work to support scientists working on experiments and research using animals. Animal technologists are responsible for the general health and welfare of the animals that are being used to help with research. Whilst the main premise of work for an animal technologist is the care of the animals, they may sometimes be directly involved with the experimental work.

Research using animals in the UK needs to the adhere to the Animal (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986, whereby animals that are bred to be used in authorised research and procedures, must be cared for and protected.

Animal technologists will have direct and regular contact with animals housed in regulated areas, usually only working with one particular type of animal. Due to the different types of species used, and the different requirements of the experiments, the work of an animal technologist can vary from day to day.

Typical daily tasks of an animal technologist might include:

  • Feeding and watering animals, according to their own diet
  • Regularly checking the animals’ health
  • Cleaning the animals and their habitats
  • Selecting animals for use in experiments
  • Monitoring animal behaviour, and rectifying any problems
  • Checking weight and growth of animals
  • Controlling the habitat’s levels of light and heat
  • Collecting samples and data
  • Keeping accurate records and data
  • Setting the protocols for the animal care

Animal technologists may be involved in planning and designing studies, and working out how and when the animals needs to be involved in the experiment. More experienced animal technologists might be in charge of breeding animals for scientific research, making sure that they are bred healthily and treated humanely.

Whilst the majority of the duties carried out by animal technologists are about animal care, some levels of scientific knowledge and experience may be required.