Animal Care Staff
Biological Services at King’s College London is managed by the Director, Ken Applebee. Biological Services is comprised of multiple research facilities in 6 separate facilities (units) on 4 different sites. More than 65 animal technologists work within these units to support approximately 90 project licence holders and 900 personal licence holders at the University and the associated King’s Health Partners. Each site has its own manager, while individual units have a unit manager, deputy unit manager, senior animal technologists, animal technologists and trainees. An animal technologist’s work focuses on animal welfare.
They feed and water the animals, wash their cages, ensure rooms are kept clean and that equipment, e.g. anaesthetic machinery, is well maintained. Some animals require modified diets that may be prepared by the animal technologists. Being in daily contact with the animals and understanding their behaviour means that early signs of disease and unusual behaviour can be detected. They can also carefully monitor the welfare of animals that are undergoing experiments. They will report any concerns to the research scientists responsible for the animals, the Named Animal Care and Welfare Officer and the Named Veterinary Surgeon.
More experienced and highly qualified animal technologists (usually Senior Animal Technologists and above) are involved in helping research scientists with their experiments. This can range from dosing of animals with treatments to breeding genetically altered mice and rats. To perform this role at King’s, animal technologists first have to obtain a Home Office Personal Licence. All animal technologists at King’s undergo Continuing Professional Development (CPD) via the Institute of Animal Technology (IAT). Unit Managers and Senior Animal Technologists must be educated to degree level (BSc), or equivalent, in a subject allied to Laboratory Animal Science & Technology.