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.

Weniger Tiere in Tierversuchen


Number of animal experiments also decreased in 2020

30.08.2021: The recent statistics on animal experimentation show: in 2020, the total number of animals used decreased. Since 2015, the use of animals has decreased by about 18 percent overall. Experiments involving moderate to severe constraint to animals have decreased overall by 6.3 percent compared to the previous year. However, the percentage of animals subjected to severe constraint has increased to 3.5 percent.

3R : Replace, Reduce, Refine

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

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.

Education and training

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.


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 06.10.2021

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