Animal technologists care for laboratory animals. Laboratory animals need to be kept healthy and comfortable, so animal technologists are trained to give them special food, change their bedding, and ensure that their conditions are clean and climate controlled.
Animal technologists carry out regular checks to ensure the animals are in good health. Any concerns are reported to the designated vet. Animal technologists also learn a lot about the quirks and character of the animals they care for. They need to be able to handle the animals carefully and often, so that the animals are calm, docile, and easy to hold.
Animal technologists combine a love of animals with scientific training. As they progress in their careers, animal technologists may learn how to draw blood or perform other veterinary procedures. Others may learn how to breed transgenic animals for research and register their bloodlines. All animal technologists must be certified by the Home Office before they can do these jobs.
At the end of a study, animal technologists also make sure that laboratory animals are euthanised (killed humanely as a vet would with a very sick pet). This is done so that researchers can learn how medicines affect the animals’ internal organs, and find out whether the medicines are safe and effective enough to proceed to further testing.