You are here:

Research prize from "Ärzte gegen Tierversuche" goes to ZEBET

23/2001, 03.09.2001

Award acknowledges the setting up of a database for alternatives to animal experiments

The Herbert Stiller Research Prize 2000 has been awarded to the Centre for Documentation and Evaluation of Alternatives to Animal Experiments (ZEBET) within BgVV. The prize this year includes DM 50,000 and is funded equally by "Ärzte gegen Tierversuche" e.V. (Doctors against animal experiments) and the animal protection organisation "Bürger gegen Tierversuche e.V. Hamburg" (Citizens against animal experiments). It will be presented to ZEBET's head of documentation and information, Dr. Barbara Grune, for setting up the ZEBET database on alternatives to animal experiments. The award will be made on 8 September 2001 in the Federal Institute for Health Protection of Consumers and Veterinary Medicine (BgVV) by the presidents of the two associations, Dr. Bernhard Rambeck and Ms. Simone Runde. At the same time, Dr. Jan Zak will also be presented with the PhD award including prize money of DM 10,000 by the association "Ärzte gegen Tierversuche" e.V. Jan Zak has been chosen for his dissertation at the University of Münster on a method involving no animal experiments in the field of cancer research.

The German Animal Welfare Act and the overriding EU Directive (86/609/EEC) regarding the protection of animals used for experimental and other scientific purposes stipulate that it should be examined whether the intended purpose could be achieved with methods or procedures other than animal experiments. ZEBET provides important information for this examination. It has been given the statutory task of documenting alternatives to animal experiments, of evaluating the possibilities for their use in practice and, if necessary, also enforcing their recognition. The goal of the work of ZEBET is to contribute to replacing as far as possible in particular those animal experiments prescribed by the public authorities. To this end, ZEBET has made information on alternatives available in a database to scientists from industry, universities and public authorities. Furthermore, ZEBET also conducts its own research and commissions research work from other institutions in order to develop new methods to reduce or replace animal experiments.

Only those alternatives which meet at least one of the three following requirements are included in the database. They must:

  • replace animal experiments through the use of the method (replacement),
  • reduce the number of experimental animals (reduction) or
  • minimise the pain and suffering of the experimental animals (refinement).

The ZEBET database differs from other national and international databases on alternatives to animal experiments in that the development level of each method, its relevance for animal welfare, experimental validation and scientific or public authority acceptance are evaluated and documented. The information in the ZEBET database encompasses all biomedical areas in which animal experiments are conducted and for which alternatives are developed and/or used. The emphasis is on pharmaco-toxicological methods but also on methods used in food hygiene, microbiology, parasitology and immunology.

At present, the ZEBET database contains 65 documents. Since February 2000 it has also been available in English on the Internet. The database is constantly updated and extended by ZEBET. It is available through the German Institute for Information and Medical Documentation (DIMD). Access is license-free and is possible both via the BgVV homepage ( and also directly through DIMDI ( Online visitors to the ZEBET database can enjoy all the advantages of the DIMDI user service. Information about the search functions is provided by DIMDI in the memocard on ZEBET. In the year 2000, alone, DIMDI registered more than 20,000 visits to the ZEBET database, many of them from abroad.

The Herbert Stiller Research Prize, named after the founder of the association "Ärzte gegen Tierversuche" e.V., is awarded every year for scientific work which addresses the relevant causes and possible treatments for human ailments without using animal experiments and which makes a major contribution to medical progress. Around 250 physicians, dentists, psychologists and scientists working in the clinical area are members of the Association. They have adopted a critical stance on animal experiments and are committed to establishing scientific research involving no animal suffering. "Ärzte gegen Tierversuche" endeavours, above all, to inform the public at large about animal experiments and the possibilities of alternative research.

The Head of ZEBET, Dr. Horst Spielmann, sees the award of the Herbert Stiller Research Prize as confirmation of the high degree of acceptance and recognition of the work of ZEBET by the general public. The research prize is to be earmarked for the further development of the ZEBET database.

Further information: Association "Ärzte gegen Tierversuche" e.V., Nußzeil 50, 60433 Frankfurt,


Cookie Notice

This site only uses cookies to offer you a better browsing experience. Find out more on how we use cookies in our Data Protection Declaration.