Life Sciences Research for Lifelong Health

Veterinary Services

This service is managed by Colin Gilbert. Colin joined the Institute in 1990 in a combined role as research group leader and veterinary surgeon, and became Manager of Veterinary Services in 2002. He qualified BVSc in 1983 and spent three years in general clinical practice before studying for a PhD in Endocrinology. He is a Diplomat of the European College of Laboratory Animal Medicine and holds the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons Certificate in Laboratory Animal Science. He was elected President of Laboratory Animals Veterinary Association between 2007 and 2010, is a Council of Management member of Laboratory Animals Ltd and is on the Editorial Board for the Journal ‘Laboratory Animals’ 

What we do

Specific areas of work include the following:


 

Clinical Care

  • Investigate reports of sick animals and devise treatment plans. We carry out routine visits as well as responding to calls from animal carers. Outside working hours we provide a continuous covering service for urgent calls.
  • Run a herd health strategy of preventative medicine based on good bio-security and health monitoring. All parts of the animal units are checked at least three times a year for the absence of a panel of pathogenic viruses, bacteria and parasites to ensure that our disease barriers have not been breached. 

Oversight of Husbandry

  • Oversight of cleanliness, husbandry and the on-going performance of animal breeding programmes.  In addition we work with technicians to increase the variety and suitability of the environmental enrichment offered to our animals.
  • Contribute to the training of staff in animal handling, delivery of substances and aseptic surgery. We also offer mentoring to scientists, both commercial and grant funded, new to the Campus to build animal welfare into all of their planning. 

Advice to Scientific Users

  • Work with researchers to enhance animal welfare during experimental procedures. This may include using welfare score sheets, measuring behaviour, clinical chemistry or diagnosis in collaboration with pathology specialists. Agreed refinements are then implemented and monitored.
  • Produce and update local campus policies on procedure techniques, and matters of due diligence with suppliers or collaborators such as tissue acquisitions.
    Identify opportunities to enhance and research the three R’s – Replacement, Reduction and Refinement (link), whilst meeting scientific objectives. 

Regulatory

  • Guide the local Ethical Review Process. Part of Home Office Project Licence scrutiny includes a ‘first pass’ of licence applications with the Veterinary team.
  • Fulfill the duties set out for Named Veterinary Surgeons under the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act and advise Campus animal users on legal compliance with UK law and the equivalent European Directive.