GER: Database AnimalTestInfo: German initiative for more transparency in animal experiments
The third amendment to the Animal Protection Act provides for more protection of animals when they are used for scientific purposes. In this context, the Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) has been mandated to inform the public about all authorized projects with animals in Germany. In line with this mandate, the BfR has developed the database AnimalTestInfo which is now being made available to the public online at http://www.animaltestinfo.de.
In the European Union, about 12 million animals are used for scientific experiments per year, 3 million of these in Germany alone. New scientific insights into the abilities of animals to experience and express pain, suffering, fear and permanent damage puts a new perspective on the argument that animal experiments are ineluctable.
On February 1, 2013, the Federal Council approved the Third Bill to Amend the Animal Protection Act. This bill implements at the national level the goals of the European Directive 2010/63/EU on the protection of animals used for scientific purposes. One of the special goals of the new legislation is the consistent implementation of the 3R principle, i.e., avoiding animal experiments through the use of alternative methods (replacement), reducing the number of test animals to an absolute minimum (reduction), and minimizing suffering in animal experiments (refinement).
The database AnimalTestInfo contains summaries intelligible to the general public of all animal experiment projects in Germany whose implementation is initiated by the scientific research institutes of the universities, the industries and the government and which have been authorized by the competent authorities of the federal states. The applicants for projects themselves are responsible for the content of the project summary published by the BfR.
These summaries contain information on the purpose of the animal experiments, what is planned with the experiment, what benefits may arise from the animal experiments and what implications for animal health are to be expected. The number and species of the animals intended to be used in the experiment (mice, rats etc.) and all measures taken to avoid use of animals in the first place, to limit their numbers, and to improve their welfare are also stated. The database can be searched by these criteria.
The Centre for Recording and Assessing Replacement and Complementary Methods to Animal Experiments (ZEBET) is also based at the BfR.
BfR press release
March 9, 2015
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