Animal technicians help veterinary, medical, pharmaceutical, agricultural and general scientists and students to care for and check on animals used for research, breeding and scientific purposes.
Duties & Tasks
Animal technicians may perform the following tasks:perform daily checks and record the health status and behaviour of animals in their careprepare food and water, and provide care for laboratory, field or zoo animalsmaintain zoo exhibits, holding or breeding areas and equipmentassist in return-to-the-wild and animal enrichment programmescarry out experiments using animals, recording the results under supervision and according to relevant codes of practice and the organisation's animal experimentation ethics committee rulesexamine animals and take samples of their body fluids, faeces or tissue for analysis or veterinary inspectioninspect and test animals for worm infestation and diseaseobserve animals' reactions to testsmake routine calculations, such as for drug dosage, and prepare graphsclean and disinfect cages and facilities, and sterilise equipmentwork under supervision to establish and maintain breeding programmesassist with fertility testing for sheep, cattle or poultry researchassist in the selection and grading of animals for breeding programmeshelp with injections, surgery, dressings and care of animals after operationsassist with the design and use of animal experimentation and research protocolseuthanise animals humanely (under supervision) and handle animals that have diedparticipate in embryo transfer proceduresassist with post-mortem examinations on dead animals.
Animal technicians are usually required to work in shifts and on weekends. Some duties involve working with large animals and exotic species, which is often performed outdoors and conducted in all kinds of weather conditions. Much of their time is spent doing routine tasks such as cleaning exhibits and feeding animals.
- enjoy practical and manual activities interested in animals, their welfare and conservation able to handle animals with confidence and patience able to make accurate observations free from allergies aggravated by animal hair, feathers, fur and dust able to undertake manual and sometimes heavy work.