Unit Animal Welfare and Knowledge Transfer

The BfR performs the tasks of the National Committee for the Protection of Animals Used for Scientific Purposes in line with § 15a of the Animal Welfare Law. Information on possible alternative methods is required not only to verify the necessity of animal experiments and the use of animals for basic, further and advanced training (e.g. of animal care staff, scientists and veterinarians) but also for the preparation of opinions by the National Committee.

Database researches help to provide information on scientifically recognised alternatives to conventional animal tests in the areas of toxicology, pharmacology and basic research to scientists and staff members of the competent authorities.

Another aim is to provide scientists with the best possible information on alternative methods and to provide specific information relevant to the protection of laboratory animals.

With the entry into force of the amendment to the Animal Protection Act on 12 July 2013 and the Regulation on the protection of animals used for experiments or other scientific purposes on 13 August 2013, a generally understandable (or "non-technical") project summary for animal experiments (NTP) must be attached to every application for approval of an animal experiment project. The publication of the so-called NTP is intended to ensure that the public can inform itself about all approved animal experiments in Germany. Each NTP is published in Germany in the online database AnimalTestInfo.

In addition, BfR regularly evaluates these NTPs systematically in order to identify those fields of research for which a constant number of animal experiments are approved. In these areas, the development of alternative methods as well as measures to reduce the number of animals and improve the welfare of the laboratory animals is particularly useful, as many animals would benefit from this.

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