Animal experiments in Germany

Non-technical project summary for animal experiments

With the entry into force of the Third Amendment of the Animal Protection Act (TierSchG) on 12th July 2013 and the Regulation on the protection of animals used for experiments or other scientific purposes (TierSchVersV) on 13 August 2013, a request for approval of an animal experiment shall be accompanied by an easily-understandable non-technical project summary (NPS). Thus, the information on animal experimentation projects is made publicly available ensuring the information of citizens about animal experiments.

NPSs give information about the purpose which the animal experiments serve, what benefits will be gained by them, and what sort of injury or stress might be expected for the animals used. NPSs contain information on the number and species of animals (mice, rats, etc.) intended to be used, as well as all measures adopted to avoid the use of animals in advance (Replacement), or to reduce their numbers in the experiment (Reduction), or to improve their well-being (Refinement).

Database AnimalTestInfo

Upon approval of the animal experiment, the competent authority transmits the non-technical project summary provided by the applicant to the BfR. The BfR publishes this in the database AnimalTestInfo within 12 months. As a rule, NPSs are published three months after receipt.

The link to the database: www.animaltestinfo.de

AnimalTestInfo Applicant

Using the Web application "AnimalTestInfo Applicant", the applicant can create, edit and manage the non-technical project summary for an animal experiment in the password-protected area of the BfR AnimalTestInfo database. Furthermore, non-technical project summaries can be entered for an amendment of the initial authorisation.

A successful registration and log-in in the web application "AnimalTestInfo-applicant" is required.

The link to the web application "AnimalTestInfo-applicant": https://www.animaltestinfo.de/antragstellung/


An update for the web application was released on 09/04/2020!

  • The update includes improvements to important editing features for users.
  • The update and improved features for creating, editing and managing NPSs will be described in detail in the user instructions for the web application.

Following the update, the title “AnimalTestInfo - Application” will replace the former “AnimalTestInfo - Applicants”. Please note that this also entails a change in the URL. The former address is linked with the new address www.animaltestinfo.de/antragstellung, i.e. access to the former link will be automatically redirected to the new address.

Information on the content of the non-technical project summary can be found in the "Guidelines for the Preparation of the Non-Technical Project Summary (NTS) for Animal Experiments".

The usage notes in the web application "AnimalTestInfo-Applicant" detail the creation, processing and management of the non-technical project summary.

AnimalTestInfo Competent Authorities

Non-technical project summaries for authorised animal experiments can be released and administered by the competent authority in the AnimalTestInfo database for the publication by the BfR in the password-protected area of the AnimalTestInfo Competent Authority.

This requires, again, a registration and log-in in the application "AnimalTestInfo Competent Authorities".

The update for the web application was released on 09/04/2020!

  • The update includes improvements to important editing features for users.
  • The update and improved features for creating, editing and managing NPSs will be described in detail in the user instructions for the web application.

The usage notes in the web application "AnimalTestInfo Competent Authorities" detail the approval and administration of the non-technical project summaries by the competent authorities.

The link to the web application "AnimalTestInfo Competent Authorities": www.animaltestinfo.de/genehmigungsbehoerden

Scientific Evaluation of Data in AnimalTestInfo

In AnimalTestInfo, data on animal experiment projects are organised into the data fields of the NPSs. This organisation enables targeted searches for data as well as allowing the data of the NPSs’ contents to be systematically retrieved.

For this purpose, scientists at the BfR have classified data in a pilot project with the code of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD), for data fields from NPSs from 2014 and 2015. The ICD is a classification system for human medicine diagnoses and is acknowledged worldwide. The aligning of NPSs with the ICD code enables a very precise analysis, for which animal experiment projects are used to provide answers.

Schönfelder G., Grune B., Oelgeschläger M., Hensel A. Laboratory animals: German initiative opens up animal data. Nature. 2015 Mar 5;519(7541):33.

The results of the pilot project were published in December 2017:

Bert B, Doerendahl A, Leich N, Vietze J, Steinfath M, Chmielewska J, Andreas Hensel, Barbara Grune, Gilbert Schoenfelder (2017) Rethinking 3R strategies: Digging deeper into AnimalTestInfo promotes transparency in in vivo biomedical research. PLoS Biol 15(12): e2003217.

The project is ongoing. The latest analyses and evaluations of NPSs will be reported here.

 

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