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24, chemin de Borde Rouge -Auzeville - CS52627 31326 Castanet Tolosan cedex - France

Last update: May 2021

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Ethics & Animal Welfare

The FREEMA team conducts experiments involving fish, both in our facility and in the natural environment, and it is obvious that many rules must be followed in order to do so:

  • the experimental station has the necessary approvals for breeding and conducting experiments on non-domesticated fish species. It is regularly inspected by the competent State services;
  • the skill levels of the agents designing or participating in the projects comply with the regulations in force.  To this end, training is regularly provided, and the unit is particularly vigilant in ensuring compliance with ethical guidelines in this area. This specific training, both initial and continuing, is closely supervised by an engineer who is also responsible for ensuring the application of all related legal procedures (sampling in certain areas, species capture);
  • the unit also benefits from the advice of an Animal Welfare Structure (SBEA) which deals with ethical issues related to experimental protocols. It is composed of staff of the unit, external experts and a veterinarian specialized in aquatic species;
  • all projects considered as experimental procedures under the terms of Article R214-89 of the Code rural et de la pêche maritime are subject to prior authorization by a regional animal ethics committee and then by the Ministère de l'enseignement supérieur, de la recherche et de l'innovation.

Animal welfare issues are really important within the unit :

  • they are regularly discussed at team, project or facility meetings;
  • they are part of the themes addressed during the courses that the unit's staff give each year at the University of Bordeaux (Master's degree in Biology, Ecology and Evolution);
  • a legal watch on this subject is carried out within the unit.