Pool of Experts for the German National Committee for the Protection of Laboratory Animals
Kick-off meeting with the experts 11th of October 2018 at BfR
The National Committee invited the nominated members of the pool of experts for a first meeting at BfR location in Berlin-Marienfelde. The President of the BfR, Dr. Dr. Andreas Hensel thanked the experts for supporting the National Committee with their expertise on honorary basis. The aims of the meeting were to initiate the collaboration between the National Committee and the experts and to define the mutual expectations.
Eighty-one experts from Germany and Austria participated at the meeting. The program consisted of talks by the National Committee addressing the legal framework and duties of its work. Building on these talks, the previous results and future activities of the National Committee were discussed.
A detailed meeting report including the program can be found here (PDF file,66.31 KB) (in German).
What is the role of the Pool of Experts of the German National Committee?
The main task of the German National Committee is to advise the competent authorities and animal welfare bodies in Germany in matters dealing with the acquisition, breeding, accommodation, care and use of animals in procedures. In addition, the National Committee ensures an exchange of best practices within Germany and with other Member States of the European Union.
The goal of the National Committee is to publish scientifically grounded and independent recommendations to promote a harmonized interpretation and implementation of the German Animal Welfare Act.
The Pool of Experts supports the National Committee to accomplish its duties and allows the National Committee to retrieve the needed expertise to advise the competent authorities and animal welfare bodies in the most flexible and efficient way, as well as in compliance with high scientific standards.
Who are the experts of the German National Committee?
The Pool of Experts consists of scientists with acknowledged expertise in the fields of natural sciences, law, human and veterinary medicine as well as ethics. Additionally, managers of animal facilities as well as animal caretakers in a leading position are part of the Pool of Experts.
In 2017 and 2018 the first calls for the Pool of Experts took place. At the moment, the pool holds 127 members. The main criterion to be nominated was the proof of expertise in the respective field (further information about the criteria in German of the first (PDF file,30.58 KB) and second (PDF file,42.74 KB) call).
What kind of work can be expected by the experts?
Experts are appointed for the Pool of Experts ad personam, meaning there are nominated on the basis of their personal expertise and because they are part of a certain institution. If experts are needed for a specific topic, the National Committee will retrieve those matching the requested profile from the pool. The most suitable experts will be chosen by using additional criteria (e. g. knowledge of specific animal experimental methods, particular animal species or legal topics) relevant for the specific question and will be contacted to check their availability. Hence, the nomination for the Pool of Experts does not automatically imply that an expert will be actively working for the National Committee.
Every time experts are asked to work together with the National Committee in form of a workshop or an expert opinion on a particular topic, they have to declare any potential conflict of interests in writing before they start. Furthermore, the experts commit to giving a scientifically independent advice and to thoroughly considering the protection of laboratory animals and the 3R-principle in their work for the National Committee.