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A survey concerning the work of ethics committees and licensing authorities for animal experiments in Germany

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Roman Kolar and Irmela Ruhdel
Animal Welfare Academy (Akademie für Tierschutz), German Animal Welfare Federation (Deutscher Tierschutzbund), Neubiberg, Germany

In 2006, the German Animal Welfare Federation started its 3rd survey since the establishment of ethics committees for animal experiments according to the German Animal Welfare Act in Germany in 1987. As animal welfare has been included as a “state goal” in the German constitution in 2002, the present survey aimed at an analysis of specific changes within the licensing process. A series of other aspects of the work of ethics committees and licensing authorities was also examined. The survey was based on questionnaires that had been addressed to licensing authorities and members of ethics committees. One of the main results is that the importance of animal welfare within the licensing process, after inclusion of animal welfare into the German constitution, has not changed or changed only to a small extent. It also becomes clear that ethical parameters are still of minor importance when animal experiments are licensed. The findings underline the importance to reform the German authorisation system for animal experiments. The pending revision of EU-Directive 86/609 is an opportunity which should not be missed in this context.

ALTEX 24(4), 326-334

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