New Refinement Resources – Humane endpoints training and a focus on fish welfare

The 3Rs-Centre Utrecht Life Sciences has announced the launch of its E-learning module on humane endpoints in animal research and veterinary practice. The module is available at 3Rs-Centre ULS have developed this website to train those involved in animal research how to monitor welfare in laboratory animals, identify endpoints and define responsibilities. Interested parties can learn how to apply humane endpoints, which improves the quality of scientific research. The website has an open and closed section. The open section is accessible to everyone and contains general information on normal behaviour of mice and rats. The closed section contains in-depth information and training modules, which is only accessible after registering (free of charge).

The most recent Norecopa newsletter ( highlights some important developments relevant to the refinement of fish experiments.

Caroline Keeling at the University of Bern has completed her doctoral thesis entitled Video-based identification of surrogate endpoints in experimental bacterial infections of rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss). It is hoped this will improve the refinement of fish-based research because traditionally the determination of humane endpoints in fish is notoriously difficult, due to the short timeline between clinical signs of disease and death.

In addition, the Norwegian Food Safety Authority have updated their advice on addressing fish welfare when new methods, equipment and technology are being developed (in Norwegian). Likewise, the Aquaculture Operation Regulation (in Norwegian) has been updated. Although primarily designed for the fish industry, the principles in these documents are also relevant to fish research, and many projects will in fact be classified as animal experiments.

Finally, the Norwegian Research Council has announced ( in Norwegian) that it is allocating 4 million NOK over 2 years (2 million yearly) for a project addressing the 3Rs related to fish. This is part of its HAVBRUK2 programme. The deadline for applications is 12 September 2018. In 2015-2017 Norecopa participated in the ENRICH Fish 3R project financed by the Council, and details of this are now available in their Project Bank (in Norwegian). Details of other projects already funded by the HAVBRUK programme are also to be found there, including Effects of the Regulatory Framework on Fish Welfare and Health, technology for identifying individual salmon in commercial fish cages, serotonin as a welfare indicator, and environmental requirements and welfare indicators for new cage farming locations and systems.