Animal experimentation

In Switzerland, animal experiments may only be performed if no alternative methods are available. Equally strict rules apply to laboratory animal husbandry as to the training and continuing education of the researchers working with animals.

Deux rats blancs rampent au travers d’une pièce en plastique rouge qui leur sert de refuge

Switzerland possesses one of the most comprehensive legislations on animal welfare in the world. The area of animal research is regulated in a particularly strict manner: Each individual animal experiment applied for is examined by a cantonal committee on animal experimentation. Researchers must demonstrate that the benefits to society are greater than the distress suffered by the animals involved (harm-benefit analysis).

Thanks to the guiding principles of the 3Rs (Replacement, Reduction and Refinement), it has been possible to dramatically reduce the number of animal experiments conducted in recent years.

3R: Replace, Reduce, Refine

Animal experimentation should only be allowed if no alternative methods are available for answering scientific questions. The number of laboratory animals and the distress that they suffer must be kept to a minimum.

Degree of severity and harm-benefit analysis

The harm-benefit analysis determines whether or not an animal experiment may be authorised and conducted. During the process, the gain in knowledge expected is compared with the anticipated level of distress suffered by the animal.

Application and authorisation

In Switzerland, each individual animal experiment and laboratory animal facility must be approved. The aim of this strict procedure is to protect animals from suffering constraint in a way that cannot be justified.

Reports and announcements

Persons conducting animal experiments must provide regular reports about the number of laboratory animals used along with information about the experiments conducted.

Training and continuing education

Persons conducting animal experiments are required to possess the necessary skills, complete a specific training course and take continuing education courses. Persons caring for laboratory animals are also required to be qualified and take continuing education courses regularly.

Researchers

The handling of experimental animals is clearly regulated. In addition to the legal requirements, we provide you with specific technical information, explanations and forms on this page. Animal experiments must be managed with the web application "e-tierversuche".

More information

Last modification 27.06.2018

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