Research involving animal experimentation and animal protection at FAU
Information and advice about animal protection, animal experimentation and laboratory animal facilities
As a university with a strong focus on research, FAU is also reliant on research involving animal experimentation. This means that animal experiments are carried out and animals are kept at FAU for this purpose.
- FAU and UKER recognize the need for animal experimentation for the purposes of biomedical research. Animal experimentation contributes to many findings in fundamental biological and (patho)physiological research and paves the way for modern medicine which includes advanced treatments for many medical conditions.
- Animal experiments at FAU and UKER are only ever used in research if this is absolutely necessary and the expected scientific findings justify the stress placed on the animals involved.
- The goal of achieving the highest possible level of scientific validity and reproducibility while taking animal protection measures into account forms the basis for planning every experiment involving animals at FAU and UKER.The 3R principle (replace, reduce, refine) is a fundamental ethical guiding principle for animal experimentation in research at FAU and UKER. Research involving animal experimentation is only ever used to answer scientific questions if there are no alternatives that are less stressful that provide equivalent results.
- FAU and UKER pledge to meet all the recommendations for communication and action of the Basel Declaration, the Alliance of Science Organizations in Germany (“Transparency in Animal Experimentation” and “Understanding Animal Experimentation”) as well as the German Research Foundation (DFG) (“Position paper on securing efficient biomedical research while maintaining the highest animal welfare standards”).
- FAU advocates a broad debate on the issue of animal experimentation and takes criticism on the part of representatives of animal ethics and differing opinions regarding animal protection seriously.
The animal protection committee of FAU and Universitätsklinikum Erlangen support the animal protection officers with their work for increasing animal welfare in research involving animal experimentation.
The committee has an advisory function across the University for determining and checking internal processes with the aim of implementing the “3R principle”.
In addition it serves as a point of contact for all those at FAU and UKER who work in research involving animal experimentation. In particular, it provides advice on questions regarding animal husbandry as well as on general topics regarding laboratory animals.
The committee comprises the following members:
- Directors of the animal facility in accordance with Section 11 German Animal Welfare Act (TSchG)
- Researchers involved in animal experimentation
- FAU animal protection officer
Tasks of the animal protection committee
- Recording animals, service provider, experimental models
- Breeding and keeping laboratory animals
- Monitoring health and hygiene
- PR, transparency agreement for animal experiments
- Education and training programs for professional development
- Representative body for animal keepers
The animal protection officer supports and advises the Executive Board and all organizational units at the University and Universitätsklinikum Erlangen on matters concerning animal protection, animal experimentation and the keeping of laboratory animals. The tasks of the animal protection officer are regulated in the German Animal Welfare Act (TSchG). The animal protection officer provides advice on the following topics:
- Applications for approval for experiments involving animals
- Planning and selecting animal models
- Assessment of stress
Contact details and directions
Animal protection officer
Secretary’s office of animal protection unit
Location and directions
Location and directions
Further information such as flyers, forms and general information as well as information about training is available on the Animal Protection unit website.
Key aspects of animal husbandry at FAU:
- Ensuring laboratory animals are kept in a responsible and ethical manner,
- Optimizing and standardizing processes in animal care,
- Implementing modern quality assurance methods,
- Providing continuous training for research staff and technicians.
The two main centers, the Biotechnical Development Laboratory and the Preclinical Experimental Animal Center, which can be regarded as the cornerstones of the Erlangen-wide alliance (eFPZ) and in which up to 20 further smaller animal centers are located, all provide state-of-the art facilities in keeping with animal welfare standards.