Practices related to the use of GM-animals

Research related to genetically modified animals and other organisms is supervised by legislation and recommendations:

  • Geenitekniikkalaki (Law)
  • Geenitekniikka-asetus (Decree)
  • Sosiaali- ja terveysministeriön asetukset muuntogeenisten organismien suljettuun käyttöön liittyvistä ilmoituksista (272/2006) ja muuntogeenisten mikro-organismien suljetun käytön riskinarvioinnin periaatteista (1053/2006).
  • Recommendations and guides by the Board for Gene Technology (GTLK).

See also the guide by Finnish bioindustry Geenitekniikan lakiopas.

In general, the use of GM-animals is done according to the centralized notification practice. Lab Animal Centre keeps records of the GM-strains used at the Kuopio campus, Univerversity of Eastern Finland. Individual researcher/research groups must provide the relevant documents related to the risk evaluation of the use of GM-animals into the LAC's own GMO-records. This can be done by carefully filling in the GM notification form of each GM-strain. Each GM-strain has its own GM-record-ID. In addition to this GM-record-ID, GM-strain must have a maintenance licence from the Animal Experiment Board (ELLA), if the strain has welfare problem. If the strain does not have welfare problem, it can be maintained under animal usage plan (EKS).

In addition, it is recommended to fill in also Mouse/Rat passport -form. The purpose of the passport is to combine all relevant information of the GM-strain, which then can be easily forwarded with the animals to new users of the strain. Passport was created by Brittish working group, who has also given  the recommendations for the welfare assessment of GM-mice. You may find useful also article by van der Meer et al. 2001; Use of score sheets for welfare assessment of transgenic mice (Laboratory Animals 2001, 35, 379-389).

When You want to import GM-strain from elsewhere:
1. Ask the health monitoring reports from the vendor and send them to LAC's veterinarian: the receiving unit and/or possible rederivation need is set according to the health status of the animals. Delivery arrangements are also agreed at the same time.

2. Fill in the GM notification form and send it as an e-mail attachment to LAC. LAC will register the strain and gives it GM-record-ID. 

3. Ask the vendor also fill in the Mouse/Rat passport and send it to LAC.  

See also the summary of What papers and forms my lab animals need?