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The French guide for ethical evaluation on animal studies examines every step of the study concerning animals. You can refer to it for more detailed information.


During a study we often administer a product to animals to study it. Before though, the physicochemical characteristics and the effects on biological extracts and stems (in vitro) are known to avoid giving animals substances that aren't biocompatible. The product can be administered orally (force-feeding with a tube or with a capsule) or by injection. The dosage is decided considering what is already known of the product. The length of the study depends on the studied impact.


Most examinations are done with a clinical examination (aspect, attitude, behaviour, electrocardiograms, ophthalmology), weighting, eating, blood exams and urinary analysis. The quantity of blood that needs to be taken is subject to recommendations. Taking important volumes of blood must be avoided for animals, such as mice, that weigh sometimes only 20 grams.


Specific exams (x-ray, scans, MRI) can require anaesthesia. Trained employees do them according to veterinary practices.


Successive studies can be made on animals when the study allows it (no consequences, or very few, for the animal's well-being, brief duration, non-persistent product). This re-use enables more precise results and the use of a lesser number of animals. It's often practiced amongst pharmacogenetic studies (dosage of products in the blood) or in telemetry (distanced measurements).


Surgical interventions are necessary, for example, to implant catheters or miniaturized equipment (sensors or emitters). These interventions are done by employees trained for surgeries and anaesthesia, with equipment adapted to the type of intervention. A post-surgical analgesia is given whenever necessary.


Euthanasia usually ends studies, enabling some important examinations such as microscope examination or pharmacogenomic and toxicogenomic studies. The method used for euthanasia depends on the animal specie and must comply with the annex IV of the 2010/63 directive. Bodies are eliminated according to national regulations and in consideration of available nearby installations. They're usually incinerated.

Letting the animal go free is planed by the French regulation. It requires a prefect authorization. In the case of domestic animals, adoption is the only solution. The process requires public health and environmental precautions and an adapted follow-up on the animals. Some associations have aimed to facilitate these adoptions.