Responsible animal testing
Veterinary and medical-biological research is carried out at Utrecht University and University Medical Center Utrecht. In addition to experiments involving cell and tissue culture techniques, computer simulations and human volunteers, animal experiments are also performed. Laboratory animals are also used for educational and training purposes.
All experiments involving animals are subject to the following strict conditions, regulated in law:
- There is no other way of achieving the educational or research goal.
- The 3 Rs of Reduction, Refinement and Replacement are taken into account in the design of the animal experiment and applied where possible.
- The societal importance of the research is evident.
- The Animal Experiments Committee has assessed whether the importance of the animal experiment outweighs the use of and the suffering caused to the laboratory animals.
- A licence has been issued by the Central Animal Experiments Committee (in Dutch).
- There is supervision and guidance by an Animal Welfare Body.
Utrecht Animal Welfare Body
Utrecht University and UMC Utrecht have jointly established the Utrecht Animal Welfare Body. Every institute that breeds, supplies or uses laboratory animals is required by law to set up an animal welfare body, as laid down in the Experiments on Animals Act. The purpose of the Utrecht Animal Welfare Body is to ensure the optimum welfare of laboratory animals within Utrecht University and UMC Utrecht in a structural way. The body ensures that all experiments are carried out in accordance with current legislation and fosters the principles of the 3 Rs of animal testing: replacement, reduction and refinement.
Transition to Animal-free Innovations
Utrecht University and UMC Utrecht have also set up a Transition to Animal-Free Innovations working group, together with Hogeschool Utrecht. This interdisciplinary working group stimulates the transition to animal-free innovations by means of advice (to researchers and executives), networks, education and creative workshops (helpathons).
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