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.
Animal experimentation statistics: Fewer animals used in experiments, increased number of animals suffering constraint
The recent statistics on animal experimentation show: The total number of animals used for experiments in 2019 has again decreased - as in the previous three years. The decrease in the number of animals used in experiments is mainly due to the fact that fewer mice and fish were used in comparison to the previous year. Experiments involving moderate to severe constraint on the animals have increased. 3.2 % of the animals were subjected to experiments that involved severe constraint.
Animal experiments in 2019: further decreases in the number of animals used for experiments
In 2019, a total of 572 069 animals were used for experiments in Switzerland. This is 2.5 % less than in 2018. The total number of animals used for experiments has constantly decreased in the last four years.
Different impact categories depending on the animal experiment
Animal experiments are classified into four impact categories – the “severity degrees”. Experiments in the severity degree 0 are considered to be non-onerous; experiments in the severity degree 3 severely stress the animals. In order to classify the experiments into the severity level categories, the FSVO updated a technical information document in 2018.
In 2019, a total of 69.2 % of the animals were used in experiments that involved little or no stress (severity degrees 0 and 1); this represents a continuous decrease since 2015. Around 27.6 % of the animals were subjected to a moderate degree of stress (severity degree 2); this represents a continuous increase since 2012. The proportion of animals subjected to severity degree 3 (severe stress) was 3.2 %, this represents an increase wrt the 2.7 % in 2018. A total of 18 290 animals were subjected to severity degree 3.
Last modification 20.08.2020