Sixty to eighty per cent of the data in an animal management database obtained from complex processes are still acquired mostly within the barrier. These processes include recording, transfer of animals, mating of animals, weaning of young animals as well as killing of animals, and the input of messages to be sent to scientists. This is the case although practically 90 per cent of the data have been initiated by researchers in their job orders which should have been set in writing in advance in any case. The animal keepers are informed by email, telephone or facsimile. Obviously these routes of communication are prone to error. These errors are primarily caused by misinterpretation of the instructions and input errors. This is easy to understand as the animal keeper has to work heavily under unfavourable conditions (protective clothing, hard respiration, et cetera), the operation of a computer system being an additional handicap in his work.
There are several approaches to get out of this dilemma:
In the new planning module, Galilei Software has concentrated on (b) and (c). The planning module proceeds on the assumption that the source of the animals to be mated as well as the physical cages is known. The decision which physical target cage is to be used and where it is located in the rack is left to the animal keeper. For this reason, the researcher is provided with a so-called virtual rack with virtual cages within the framework of the planning module, in which he can carry out the planned mating. This can be done by simple clicking and selecting of the cages or by virtually relocating the animals. The planned processes thus recorded are linked to the previously defined services which in turn are included automatically on the order list of the animal management department.
When the animal management department has received the orders outside of the barrier, these orders are distributed to the job lists of certain animal keepers during a morning conference, for example. After the animal keepers have entered their workplace behind the barrier, the job lists can be called up by the animal keepers, the orders are carried out physically and only have to be confirmed by a click. The software system automatically converts the planned movement into a real movement.
Once again the advantages of this system at a glance: