Number of animal experiments at Utrecht University and UMC Utrecht again virtually unchanged
The number of animal experiments at Utrecht University and the UMC Utrecht has remained almost the same this year. There is a minimal decrease from 20.576 in 2021 to 20.436 in 2022. This appears from the joint 2022 Annual Report on Animal Experiments.
Both institutes use laboratory animals for research and education. In both fields a lot of effort is put into developing animal-free methods, such as organs-on-chips, computer predictions, fake animals for veterinary students to practice on, and virtual reality. At the same time, these innovations seem to have had only a limited impact on the number of animal experiments carried out in recent years.
Although the number of animal experiments carried out by UU and UMC Utrecht has halved over the past decade, we can see that the decline has been slower in recent years, says Wim de Leeuw, head of the internal supervisor Animal Welfare Body Utrecht. "There are several reasons for this, but it seems that the animal experiments that were relatively easy to replace have ended in recent years, and the animal experiments that are still carried out now are more difficult to replace."
New centre for animal-free innovations
Utrecht University and UMC Utrecht remain committed to good education and research with fewer laboratory animals. The advent of the new national Center for Animal-Free Biomedical Translation (CPBT) will certainly contribute to this, said UMC Utrecht Board member Josefien Kursten. "We are immensely proud that the National Growth Fund has decided to earmark 125 million euros for the CPBT. The CPBT is an initiative of Utrecht University, UMC Utrecht, the University of Applied Sciences Utrecht and the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment, and has a large number of national public and private partners. Together with these partners, the CPBT wants to realise a centre for developing and disseminating animal-free innovations and expertise. The new centre also aims to provide education, training, advice and support to strengthen the acceptance and use of animal-free biomedical innovations," Kursten said in the foreword of the annual report.