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Better Protection of Laboratory Animals

11/2017, 17.03.2017

The German Centre for the Protection of Laboratory Animals and the Berlin-Brandenburg Research Platform are extending an invitation to a public Spring School from 3 to 5 April 2017 at Freie Universität Berlin.

Joint press release from the BfR and FU Berlin

The goal of this year’s Spring School 2017 "Animal Tests - Legal and Ethical Aspects" is to convey the contents and requirements of the German Animal Welfare Law (TierSchG) with regard to the planning and approval of animal experiments . The conference is being organised jointly by the German Centre for the Protection of Laboratory Animals (Bf3R) at the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) and the Berlin-Brandenburg Research Platform BB3R. The "3 R" stand for the replacement and reduction of animal experiments as well as the improvement of the wellbeing of laboratory animals (refinement). Whereas Bf3R consolidates all 3R activities throughout Germany, the BB3R research platform combines the 3R-related competences of the Berlin-Brandenburg region. The Spring School is being held from 3 to 5 April 2017 at Freie Universität Berlin. The event is open to the public and free of charge.

The planning and conducting of animal experiments in line with the 3R principle (replacement, reduction and refinement) is a complex process comprising various procedural steps which have to pay due consideration to various legal and ethical requirements. Experts will be explaining what successful literature research on alternative methods to animal experiments looks like and what has to be considered in the biometric planning of animal experiments, as well as for the legally prescribed applications and non-technical project summaries. The different legal points of view (animal welfare officers, committees appointed in line with Article 15 TierSchG  and competent authorities) with regard to test planning and the application for animal experiments will also be explained. "The goal of our activities is to restrict animal testing to the absolutely essential minimum level. It should be possible to take new scientific findings into account at all times. We still don’t know enough about the kind of suffering, animals experience with changes to their physiological condition and how to measure it objectively," says Professor Dr. Dr. Andreas Hensel.

At the event, representatives of the German Centre for the Protection of Laboratory Animals (Bf3R) will be demonstrating the scientific activities they practice at the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment in Berlin. Bf3R was established at the BfR in 2015 in the course of the animal welfare initiative promoted by the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL). The Centre coordinates all activities nationwide with the goals of reducing animal experiments to an absolutely essential minimum and guaranteeing the best possible protection for laboratory animals. In addition to this, the work of the Centre shall inspire national and international research activities and shall promote the scientific dialogue. The work of Bf3R and future developments in the field of alternative methods research will be presented at the Spring School.

"Animal experiments cannot currently be replaced completely if the safety of humans is to be guaranteed when introducing new medicines," explains Prof. Dr. Monika Schäfer-Korting, spokeswoman of the BB3R research platform. "Numerous scientists in Berlin and Brandenburg are working on replacing even more animal experiments and making the essential ones less stressful while achieving similarly good results with fewer animals". The BB3R graduate school at Freie Universität Berlin trains doctoral candidates in these fields. Moreover, BB3R consolidates the 3R-related competences of the Berlin-Brandenburg region, advances systematic research in this field and qualifies young scientists in alternative methods to animal experiments.

The event is recognised as further training for veterinarians by the German Chamber of Veterinarians (ATF). Recognition as further training for physicians is possible too.

Date, venue and programme


Dr. Lisa Grohmann, Faculty of Biology, Chemistry, Pharmacy at Freie Universität Berlin, Tel: 030 / 838-53219,

About the BfR

The German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) is a scientifically independent institution within the portfolio of the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL) in Germany. It advises the Federal Government and Federal Laender on questions of food, chemical and product safety. The BfR conducts its own research on topics that are closely linked to its assessment tasks.

The BfR is celebrating its 15th anniversary this year. To mark the occasion, the institute has published a jubilee brochure which can be downloaded or ordered free of charge at


This text version is a translation of the original German text which is the only legally binding version.


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