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The Role of the Designated Veterinarian: Legislation vs Good Practice

Presenter: Javier Guillén

Webinar Title: The Role of the Designated Veterinarian: Legislation vs Good Practice

When: 11th of December, 15:00-16:00 GMT

Synopsis: Directive 2010/63/EU has established a common legal framework for the role of the Designated Veterinarian (DV) in the European Union. The weight put by the Directive on the DV is light, as exemplified by the use in some cases of the term “should” instead of the more mandatory “shall” applied to other aspects, and the advisory category of the role required for the DV concerning fundamental veterinary areas with terms such as “advice”, “in accordance” or “input”. To confirm this approach, Article 25 assigns literally the DV “advisory duties”, and even leaves the door open for other suitable experts to perform the same duties. The question is if these legal framework ensures the establishment of a comprehensive and effective veterinary care programme (i.e. good practice) in all establishments, since there are no well-defined requirements for it. There are several recommendations by professional organisations that can be used to fill in this gap. They define roles and responsibilities of the DV (or equivalent) and describe the elements necessary for an effective veterinary care and use programme. Examples are the ESLAV/ECLAM/LAVA/EVERI Recommendations for the roles, responsibilities and training of the laboratory animal veterinarian and the designated veterinarian under Directive 2010/63/EU; the FELASA/ECLAM/ESLAV Guidelines for the veterinary care of laboratory animals; and Chapter 4 (Veterinary Care) of the NRC Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals. Main common features of these documents will be discussed as a way to implement good veterinary practice at research establishments.