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eModule : Recognition and Prevention of Pain, Suffering and Distress in Laboratory Animals

This eModule provides an introduction to the recognition and prevention of pain, suffering and distress in laboratory animals, to the level required to meet the learning objectives in EU Module 5.

We highly recommend that you complete the sections in numerical order, but you can view any section at any time. Your progress will be saved once the interactive scenario for that section has been completed. A sidebar lists the sections that are part of this course and your saved progress.

If your progress is being tracked by an institution please remember to click “Finish Course” once you have completed all of the sections.


Course Curriculum

Recognition and Prevention of Pain, Suffering and Distress in Laboratory Animals
EU05 Section 1 : Why Animal Welfare Matters 00:06:00
An introduction to why animal welfare matters and how in addition to ethical considerations, poor welfare can impact research.
EU05 Section 2 : Clinically Assessing Animals 00:22:00
Carrying out clinical assessments, including optional examples of fish welfare.
EU05 Section 3 : Scoring Systems for Welfare Assessment 00:19:00
Using scoring systems for structured welfare assessments in rats and mice.
EU05 Section 4 : Identifying Causes and Treatments 00:20:00
Deciding what actions to take when dealing with laboratory animal welfare problems.
EU05 Section 5 : Humane Endpoints and Severity Classifications 00:12:00
Applying humane endpoints and assessing cumulative severity.
EU05 Animal Welfare Notes 00:00:00
Easy access to all of the images, video and text in the eModule.
EU05 Vet Records 00:00:00
Examples of welfare problems in a range of species.

Course Reviews


125 ratings
  • 5 stars73
  • 4 stars42
  • 3 stars7
  • 2 stars3
  • 1 stars0
  1. nice


    easy to follow

  2. 4

    Good course with lots of clear information. However, none of the interactive slider buttons seem to work (using Mozilla browser..)

  3. Useful information but the page takes ages to load


    I like the video clips and information listed beside. It is very interactive. However, it takes ages to load one page.

  4. Good, could be better


    I completed the Animal Anaesthesia course before this one and found it to be more engaging. Unfortunately, this one required you to search through the notes in order to answer a portion of the questions rather than teach the answer through the interaction medium being provided.

  5. Useful


    The questions are really useful and helpful to fix the concept in mind. Videos and pictures make everything clearest.

  6. good course


    a good course outlining the through processes, the videos and questions are good to help practice assessing the animals. some inclusion of the terminology of the signs would be helpful to start getting familiar with those.

  7. Interesting


    Was interesting but the sliding function and some videos didn’t work for myself.

  8. great and informative


    really enjoyed the interactive learning experience, the take home message was always easy to grab and understand the extra resource material is also beneficial. all in all well thought out and executed. great learning tool.

  9. Good course


    Mine is showing a completion of 85% yet says i got 100/100? Would appreciate some guidance on this

  10. 4

    Sliders did not work while using a laptop. Even when connecting a mouse to the laptop it still would not let me move them. I was not able to complete the final section because the slider would not work and there was no continue button for me to skip the section. I had to move to a desktop computer to be able to finish it. Also I would like to suggest making the speed that the speech bubbles come up faster because I found them slow and time consuming. Other than those reasons I found it went smoothly and was very educational.

  11. Very Helpful


    The most helpful information

  12. 5

    Great , useful information

  13. 5

    Excellent course. Informative, engaging and interactive.
    A certificate of completion emailed to the participant would be beneficial.

  14. Good


    Very good course with information well presented and interactive elements making you engage in a useful manner.

  15. Over all a very good experience


    A very good experience, however I wish there was more audio. it would have been helpful to have audio for the text.

  16. The course does not complete


    In Module 4 the page states that I have completed the Module 4 and brings me to Module 5 but then the Module 4 is not marked as complete

  17. Good content, some software issues


    Excellent content. Moving sliders don’t work in Firefox 62.0 (64 bit) on Linux

  18. very good


    excellent information and format, just that the videos and pages were slow to load on the computer.

  19. Best guidance


    It gave me alot of information before I start hands on training.

    Thank you so much.

  20. emodule


    good, quite informative and gave me a better understanding

  21. It was a good course


    It was a good course and it taught me think that I did not think about. I learned a lot from the course

  22. Really good and interactive, however glitchy


    The overall idea and information provided its great and lovely to use. However, there were many glitches using the meter or selecting certain options, it just wouldn’t move at all. I needed to restarted various time to make it work. Any information missing though was found in the notes.

  23. Very good course


    Easy access and understanding

  24. Good content, slightly annoying delivery


    As a fresh Bsc graduate now working as a Research Tech I found this course very helpful and I learned quite a lot from it. The dialog clicking is slightly annoying though, even for a newbie scientist like me, never mind for someone who has been in the field and just want to refresh I imagine.

    Overall great for a free course, thank you.

  25. Content frequently freezes


    Course needed to be re-loaded more than 10 times due to content freezing.

  26. A good, consise refresher.


    Well put together.

  27. 4

    Sometimes found it difficult to advance through the unit – don’t know if it was jus my internet connection causing problems though

  28. Great training resource


    Really great training resource. Very visual and well explained.

  29. 4

    Really good content, but frustrating being unable to move the slider bars during exercises

  30. Reviewi of the eModule: Recognition and Prevention of pain, sufering and distress in laboratory animals


    Great module and very informative

  31. Great Program


    Excellent for beginners to Lab research with animals. Useful for ensuring competency and correct animal monitoring.

  32. 5

    Excellent resource and easy to understand

  33. Glitches


    There is a part of this course during module 5, which requires you to move a slider to access information on animal health. There seems to be a glitch with this page and the slider does not move to the next subheading. It prevents you from being able to access all the information and progress with the course

  34. 4

    Valuable learning tool

  35. An excellent starting point


    Clear and concise.

  36. AWhitaker


    Good course highlighted issues and got one thinking along the right lines. Module difficult to access on tablet and definitely needed Desktop to complete. Videos/Content and interactivity excellent

  37. Good training


    Good learning tool

  38. 5

    Informative and interactive

  39. Very informative


    it was very descriptive and showed lots of examples to help follow along with the material being taught

  40. good starting point


    … but more feedback on the scoring would be handy (its natural for a beginner to jump between 0% & 100%) – simply saying the pro got 5 (but I ain’t going to tell you how) is a bit annoying

  41. very useful for understand walfare of lab animals


    thanks very useful

  42. Worked overseas


    Exceptionally good learning. Some small glitches in the loading of the stages though.

  43. 4

    Valuable course to improve welfare of laboratory animals.

  44. Good


    We should be able to download the training notes. but it was well organized overall

  45. I enjoyed every moment


    Really nice and entertaining course. It gives a great overview. I can’t wait to see the avian and farm animal chapters.

  46. 4

    Good course, a little tricky to get into then computer had a bit of a melt down. Good to go over stuff you know you know, as a reminder

  47. 4

    useful information, good format

  48. 4

    Quite an in-depth course and well explained.

  49. Very practical, great examples


    There were a few bugs but otherwise this is a very valuable resource for anyone working with laboratory animals.

  50. Recognition and Prevention of Pain, Suffering and Distress in Laboratory Animals


    Managed to complete two modules in the course. I am struggling to pick it up from where I left . The file does not load in Chrome or internet explorer. Very poor user interface.

  51. good refresher course


    I found the course to be a very helpful reminder of the basics. In particular the information around scoring systems was helpful.

  52. Worthwhile Course


    Although a little slow to navigate and move between sections – this course is worthwhile and has some good examples for the recognition of adverse effects. I especially liked the graph and example of how to determine humane endpoints.

  53. 4

    Cannot beat seeing animals in person

  54. Useful Information


    I found this course very good and interactive. Useful day to day information for animal husbandry for pain, prevention, suffering and distress.

  55. Very useful and perfect graphic desing


    Absolutely a must for people involved in animal research

  56. 4

    Difficult to assess animals in video as poor quality, nit picking but characters improperly dressed for an animal unit and protocol should have been with animals to ascertain and assess health / end points.

  57. Most useful


    Very good delivery of subject but would have liked more examples of good and bad animal welfare and ‘what/how to spot’ tests

  58. Amazing course


    Very useful course for those who work with laboratory animals.

  59. Recognition and Prevention of Pain, Suffering and Distress


    Very good but take my advice and do this on a laptop NOT a tablet

  60. Recognition and Prevention of Pain, Suffering and Distress in Laboratory Animals


    Useful. The video are nice. The transition between the units is painfully slow.



    Very interactive, easy to follow and helpful to better understand what we discussed during the PIL A+B course.

  62. Thanks


    Very interesting and helpful, thanks!

  63. Useful content, but technical issues


    Content informative, but had to take several rounds through the course to find out that there is a little marker at the bottom, where I had to click myself “content completed”, i.e. it did not automatically recognise this. Only then I could proceed to finish the course.

  64. Excellent course


    Concise, clear instruction, engaging interface. Overall excellently put together.

  65. 5

    Great source of information.

  66. Excellent module for use as initial or refresher training


    I am an experienced researcher and found this a very useful refresher of how to recognise pain & distress in our animals. Excellent use of video clips and interactive tools.
    Would like to be able to go back and choose again some of my choices

  67. Pain, distress and suffering in experimental animals


    good videos and dialogue

  68. Great quiality


    I learned a lot from the videos demonstrating suffering characteristics in the animals. There should be a Database to go back to with these videos.

  69. Excellent!


    This course gives a lot of tools to technicians. It´s so didactic!

  70. 5

    Excellent! I enjoyed the course!

  71. 5

    very well explained!



    Great course very informative and a great indication of what to look for.

  73. Well done


    Good course, very well designed.

  74. very good videos and learning knowledge


    It’s a very good videos for studies and i like it. Sometimes the question is a little bit difficult and need more time to figure it out. Thanks for design this moodle.

  75. eModule : Recognition and Prevention of Pain, Suffering and Distress in Laboratory Animals


    It’s the first time that I follow an eModule for this subject and I’ve found it really user-friendly. As a non-native English speaker I consider this course useful and understandable.

  76. Useful course


    The course is well organized and explained allowing a suitable ramp up in the field of animal research work.

  77. very clear and helpful


    5 star. Very clear and helpful

  78. Very good videos for learning


    I am previewing the course to have my US Based Vet tech students take it as part of their lab animal class. The information is great. But the videos and the opportunities to really assess the animals is a really valuable hands on experience for them. I will be using this as part of my class.

  79. Very interesting


    Nicely made and very effective

  80. Brilliant learning


    Clear learning objectives and explaination.
    Great use of images and videos.

  81. Interesting an well presented


    Very good, the videos were particularly useful.
    Would have preferred a slightly easier way to navigate through the different slides, so I could have gone back a slide or two occasionally. Overall a very good course.

  82. Great course


    Very useful.

  83. good material


    It is nicely made and easy to understand.

  84. 5

    Everything is really well introduced and very educational.

  85. 5

    Good, clear information and really useful for those with not much experince at using animals in research

  86. Very useful


    I’ve found some questions a little confusing as more than one option was partially right while I had to choose just one. Anyway, I’ve found it very complete and useful.

  87. Recognition and prevention of pain, suffering and distress in lab animals


    Highly informative, beautifully constructed, extremely palatable. Well worth the hard work that clearly went into its creation

  88. great course


    It was a very good experience. I would love to do another one. Thank you very much.

  89. 4

    Maybe it’s my eyesight or a small laptop screen but I would have been happier with higher quality video, as it was difficult to see the smaller signs of poor welfare, especially the eyes.

    Other than that, very informative and useful, and I’m very happy with the content.

  90. Really helpful


    Great tool and explained in a logic simple manner. Thank you and i look forward to continuing to learn with more courses like this.

  91. Excellent


    Nicely interactive

  92. Great Refreasher


    Videos and questions are great combination.

  93. Must before woking with lab animals.


    Excellent illustrations with examples, similar scenerios highly likely to appear when doing actual animal work.

  94. 5

    Very supportive and invaluable learning tool.

  95. Recognition of Pain


    Very Good Resource! Excellent

  96. Very Useful!


    Very useful course that every in vivo researcher should complete.

  97. Pain Suffering and Distress


    well done

  98. Great Resource


    Well thought out and informative.

  99. really good course


    Easy to use and very informative.

  100. Fab Course


    Very interactive, attention holding and easy to use. Fun and the use of quality footage is a great addition.

  101. Recognition of pain


    Fantastic course. Designed not only to dish out information for the student but to make the student think

  102. it is very useful for me


    it is very useful for me

  103. excelent !!


    I work for Sanofi, in a “ethical comitee” and “animal welfare structure” in france. Congratulation for your, simple and efficient.
    I mostly liked videos and interactive screens

  104. 5

    Very good resource

  105. Excellent resource!


    So didactic and well organized. Always a pleasure to learn from Dr. Flecknell.

  106. Informative


    Great use of vidoes

  107. Almost Perfect


    This was a well structured course, however, I think that it is easy to work your way through and not actually learn anything. I think it would be useful to have a quiz at the end to make sure that we have grasped scoring. Not a “pass/fail” but more, you need to get 5 in a row correct to finish.

  108. Great Course


    Very well organised. It provides a lot of useful information about animal welfare.

  109. Good informative course



  110. Excellent learning resource


    Well structured content with excellent videos – great interactivity – useful for all researchers working with animals

  111. The content is good, the software keeps crashing


    The content of the course provides a useful review of the rules and regulations. However, the software kept crashing on me, requiring to go through entire sections several times. Also, the program does not work using Chrome, which I only found out after a good half an hour of trying to get through the lessons.

  112. eModule : Recognition and Prevention of Pain, Suffering and Distress in Laboratory Animals


    I thought this was a very valuable tool for anyone who works with lab animals. Great as an introduction or a review.

  113. Informative but the quizes could be better structured


    The course material is good and gives lots of information and guidance but it seemed like in some of the quizzes there was no right answer at all which was confusing – it seemed only to progress once you had given a wrong or “maybe” answer. Also, the last quiz allowed you to go back to review the information but then you have to go through the slide transitions before you can get to all the information.

  114. Interesting & Informative


    This is the first time I’ve used an “e-learning” system. I’ve found it very user friendly, informative and an interesting way to refresh knowledge. I would recommend it for all levels of animal techs & research staff. Particularly good I feel for staff who’s first language is not English and have problems following “traditional” classroom tutorials. Good examples of score sheets and raises awareness of cumulative effects of procedures.

  115. 5

    Excellent. Covers all aspects.

  116. 5

    Excellent resource and very nicely presented.

  117. 4

    Valuable learning tool and as a check list to follow, rather than hoping to ‘feel’ there is a problem.

  • FREE

Support & Sponsors

We thank the UK NC3Rs as the major sponsor of this online eModule.

We are also grateful to the ongoing support of the Scottish Accreditation Board and thank LAWTE for funding initial development of this online eModule.

eModule Details

Meets all of the learning objectives in EU Module 5.

The Royal Society of Biology, the Universities’ Training Group and the Scottish Accreditation Board support the use of these eModules as part of the training requirements for Personal Licence holders in the UK.

Course Reviews
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