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.

Education and further training is of utmost importance in animal welfare legislation. This is also true for the area of animal research. The courses convey the essential provisions of animal welfare legislation, including the guiding principles of the 3Rs. The area of the 3Rs is in fact developing at an extremely rapid rate: Therefore, researchers are required to take continuing education courses regularly. Additional provisions also continue to apply to heads of laboratories.

Education (according to art. 192 AniWO)

All persons who conduct or lead animal experiments, as well as those who head a laboratory animal facility, must take part in a theoretical and practical education course that lasts several days. This course conveys knowledge on how to correctly keep animals in the most humane and animal-friendly way possible. The course also covers the correct use of painkillers.

In each institute or laboratory, it is also mandatory to designate a person as animal welfare officer who checks in particular that the indispensable minimum necessary according to Animal Protection Ordinance article 137 is being observed. Animal welfare officers must have a university degree and have completed the education for Study Directors.

Most of the time, laboratory animals are not directly involved in experiments but live in laboratory animal facilities. For this reason, the competence of persons taking care of the animals is central. Heads of laboratory animal facilities are required to take the education course for animal care takers. They may also employ auxiliary staff whom they can train themselves.

More information about the basic education course for people working with animals and the applicable legislation can be found in “More information” > “Legislation”.

Training (according to art. 190 AniWo)

After completing an education course, study directors, animal welfare officers and heads of animal facilities and involved persons must periodically take part in training courses to upgrade their animal experimentation skills.

The cantonal authority accredits further training in the field of animal experimentation. The Association of Swiss Cantonal Veterinarians (VSKT) maintains a list of accredited training events. This is available in animex-ch and is also published regularly under "In detail". Further information and application forms for the accreditation of training events are listed under Accreditation recommendations for continuing education (specialist training, animal caretaker) (in French).

More information

Last modification 18.02.2021

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